Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Wade keeps ambition in check despite century

Reuters, ROSEAU, DOMINICA

Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade hit an impressive maiden Test century on Tuesday, but does not expect his achievement to change his status as understudy to first choice Brad Haddin.

Haddin had to give up the gloves for this series for personal reasons and Wade has been accomplished both behind the stumps and with the bat.

His ability as a batsman was illustrated with a sparkling 106 from 146 balls. Playing with aggression against Shane Shillingford’s spin, that had caused the Australian top order so much trouble, Wade showed his game is suited to the Test arena.

However, with Australia captain Michael Clarke making it clear that Haddin remained his No. 1 pick for Tests, Wade refused to let his evident delight at a first century lead him to put pressure on the skipper.

“Hadds was supposed to play this tour and I’ve come in and taken his spot from an unfortunate situation, personal reasons back home that he has,” Wade said.

“So that’s as far as I’m looking at it. We’re playing these games, then we’ve got a pretty big gap in Test cricket from there and hopefully I can hold my spot in the one-dayers and go from there,” he said.

Australia’s next Test match is at home to South Africa in November, but Wade says his thoughts about his role in that series have not altered.

“I don’t think it changes. My mindset definitely hasn’t changed, there’s a lot of one-day and Twenty20 cricket between ... a lot of water under the bridge before the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba, so I’ll do my job and see how it goes,” Wade said.

“Pup [Clarke] said that Haddin is No. 1 in Test cricket and that sits fine with me, I’m happy to fill the void for a while and go and play some one-day cricket,” he added.

Wade, who has played in 16 one-day games for Australia, is featuring in just his third Test match, but said he had never questioned his ability to make the step up.

“It’s been a massive tour for me, I’ve learned so much from the first game we played ... the one-dayers, where the conditions were just so different from what I’m used to. I felt I was good enough to play at this level if I could just get things to go right for me,” he said.

“It was about improving the little things, the conditions were a massive thing, halfway through the one-day series I decided I’d use the sweep a lot more and I’ve brought that into the Tests,” he said.

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