Australia's Matthew Wade (left) watches Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq play a sweep shot at the MCG.
Australia's Matthew Wade (left) watches Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq play a sweep shot at the MCG. Andy Brownbill

'He would want some runs but they will come'

FORMER Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has backed Matthew Wade to retain his Test spot, declaring his glovework has drastically improved since his international return.

Wade's position has come under fire after failing to contribute with the bat since replacing Peter Nevill.

Nevill was dropped after averaging 22 from 17 Tests, but Wade has been unable to reach double digits since his return.

Haddin, who played 66 Tests, said Wade's work behind the stumps had improved significantly since his recall for the third Test against South Africa earlier this month.

"I've been watching as much as I can,” Haddin said. "He has done a good job with the gloves.

"His keeping has come a long way since his last time in the Australian team. He has looked quite tidy.

"I've been impressed with the way he has caught the ball.”

With Nevill considered the superior gloveman, Wade needs a strong performance with the bat in the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney to ensure his spot for the tour of India in February.

Haddin backed Wade to produce with the willow.

"He would want some runs but they will come,” Haddin said. "He is a quality batter. I wouldn't be too worried about that.

"He has had a couple of years away from the Australian team. He has developed in that time. He has captained Victoria to a couple of Shields - from that point of view he has matured into a very good cricketer.”

Wade has resumed Haddin's role as the team's attack dog in the field.

"All keepers around Australia bring that presence,” Haddin said. "It's our job to bring that tempo and the standards we set on the field are high. As an Australian cricketer we hold those standards really high.

"The one thing Australian cricketers do a lot better than other countries is that we take our fielding personally. We can create a create a really uncomfortable environment with our presence out there. It's up to the keeper to drive that energy.”

Haddin joined his Sydney Sixers teammates on the flight to Adelaide on Friday to prepare for their New Year's Eve clash against the Strikers. The 39-year-old veteran said the growth of the BBL would help players make the transition into the international arena.

"The window of the Big Bash and the way it's promoted is amazing,” Haddin said. "To give the guys exposure in front of big crowds gives them a great opportunity when they get to the international level to not be so shocked and overawed.”

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH


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