Wade credits improved glovework for Test recall

Matthew Wade of Victoria during the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last month.
Matthew Wade of Victoria during the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last month. Scott Barbour

CRICKET: There was no argy bargy when it came to Matthew Wade and the media.

While the South African squad was at the centre of a controversial confrontation with a television reporter at Adelaide Airport, there was no such hostility when the reinstalled Aussie wicketkeeper fronted the press.

The 28-year-old Victorian has been named to play his first Test in three years after losing his place to veteran Brad Haddin and then being overlooked for contemporary Peter Nevill.

Earlier, Zunaid Wadee, who is in charge of South African security, attempted to prevent Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis from being questioned by Nine Network reporter Will Crouch with repeated pushes and shoves. Du Plessis is currently under investigation by the International Cricket Council for ball tampering.

Such is his combative nature, Wade himself wouldn't look out of place shielding his own skipper Steve Smith from whatever perils confronted him.

And he will happily be on the frontline with him from Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.

"I love the contest. I love being competitive. I'll come in a give it a red-hot crack,” the Bushrangers captain said, before adding it was also important to keep a relaxed atmosphere as the Aussies attempt to avoid their second straight Test series whitewash.

"We'll just get out there and try and take the pressure off, to be honest. It's about trying to have a relaxed environment and that's one thing Steve does really, really well - lets us relax.”

Wade is one of six fresh faces being brought into the squad after the loss in Hobart, but having been a part of the Australian set-up for half a decade, provides experience.

"Obviously there's a lot of fresh faces,” he said.

"But given I've played one-day cricket for the last 18 months, I don't feel like I'm coming in as a newbie ... I feel like I can help the younger guys if they need it, and Steve and (vice-captain) David (Warner) if they need it as well.”

Wade said he will return a better player, particularly behind the stumps with his often-maligned glovework.

"Obviously the last time I played Test cricket I was a little bit younger,” he said.

"I thought an opportunity would come down the line if I worked hard enough on my game and worked well enough.

"I think it (the glovework) improved, obviously. I wasn't playing well enough at the time to be picked as a wicketkeeper in Test cricket and now I have.”

Wade could be important in the lower order too. He has played 12 Tests, averaging 34 with the bat, having hit two centuries.

Nevill, in contrast, has struggled in front of the stumps, averaging 22 in 17 Tests, with a top score of 66.

"I feel confident with the bat,” Wade said. "I feel confident I can bring a good package to the team and help push for the win.”

Du Plessis, meanwhile, is facing a one-Test ban and is yet to speak publicly since being charged by the ICC for allegedly using a lolly to induce swing in the second Test.

Following the clash at Adelaide Airport, Hashim Amla, who fronted the media late last week, posted on Twitter: "Disappointed. Such provocative behaviour from reporters. Let a man walk in peace. Ask with manners n courtesy and u prob will get a response.”

Topics:  australian cricket team faf du plessis matthew wade proteas

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