Wade prepared to fill void left by Hussey

Wade prepared to fill void left by Hussey

MATTHEW WADE is bracing to be rotated out of the team for the ODI series but has declared he is ready to take on the challenge of batting at No. 6 after Michael Hussey's shock retirement.

The wicketkeeper has not missed an international match since replacing Brad Haddin last February, playing in each of Australia's last 46 fixtures, and though he does not want to sit out any games this summer he understands the benefits of such a move.

Benefits ... Matthew Wade expects to be rested.

Benefits ... Matthew Wade expects to be rested.

Photo: Dean Sewell

''I don't want to stop playing for Australia but I don't think it will be my decision,'' Wade said. ''That will be made higher up if I'm to rest any games but I want to play every game that I can for Australia. But I fully understand where the people are coming from above.

''Mitchell Johnson had a rest from Hobart and did what he did last Test match and looked really fresh. I want to play but in the end it's not my choice.''

Australian team management are yet to broach the topic with Wade but the odds appear slim of the 25-year-old playing through the entire ODI and Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka and the West Indies later this summer.


Selectors will also be wary of Wade's workload before next month's four-Test series against former world No. 1 India. Of the top six Test nations, only India's M.S. Dhoni and Wade keep wickets in all three forms of the game at international level.

''I fully understand where they're coming from and going forward with how much cricket we are playing the resting of fast bowlers and if I end up having a rest it will be beneficial down the track,'' Wade said.

''At the time no cricketer wants to rest. We want to play every single game that we can because that's what we're paid to do.''

If Wade is ordered to rest his place in the ODI XI is likely to be taken by Tasmania's Tim Paine, who donned the gloves for Australia A against South Africa at the start of the summer.

Wade is this week preparing to move up the order to No. 6 as Australia contemplate blooding Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

Wade has batted with distinction in that position for Victoria in recent seasons. The Tasmanian-born Wade said he would not feel any extra pressure if pushed up a rung in the batting order nor would the natural strokeplayer with stout defence be changing his game to suit his new position.

''I'd be comfortable moving to six if that's what the team needed me to do to win a Test match,'' said Wade. ''I've been lucky enough to bat at six for Victoria for a couple of years now. In terms of impacting keeping it doesn't make too much of a difference coming one up the order.''

Hussey's retirement, coming hot on the heels of Ricky Ponting's departure, has reinforced the need for Australia's next generation of players to lift their games.


''It's going to be a lot more expectation on the younger top order,'' Wade said. ''Pup's [Michael Clarke] doing everything he can do, scoring a truckload more runs. It's up to the Warners, Cowans, Wades, Hugheses all the guys in that top six or seven who have to pick up the slack.''

The visitors cannot regain the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy but are desperate to be the first Sri Lankan team to win a Test in Australia. ''The good thing is this team have to believe they can create history if they win a Test match in Australia, that's the attitude we'll take into the New Year's Test,'' said veteran Thilan Samaraweera.

Andrew Wu

Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald

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