Wade's tonne doesn't cover missed wickets

The Australian cricket selectors are lucky criticism has been confined to their bowlers’ rotation policy.

Whatever the right or wrong of it, regardless of who the selectors pick, a strong fast-bowling squad will go to England for the Ashes series.

The rotation controversy has spared those selectors the criticism they should be copping, for dropping wicket-keeper Brad Haddin for Matthew Wade.

Cricket writers have been silent on this, maybe because they started a disgraceful push to get rid of Haddin, far and away Australia’s best keeper.

That’s Ian Healy’s opinion for one, and he was chosen in the Australian team of the century.

Wade’s performance against Sri Lanka in the Third Test is a contender for most inept ever given by an Australian gloveman, but the evidence was already in.

Running 20 meters to take one spectacular catch is no compensation for lack of consistency behind the stumps.

Nor is scoring a swashbuckling century (Haddin can score those too).

Australia could get away with Wade’s fumbling against a game but outclassed Sri Lanka.

They won’t against England.

Wade simply is not up to standard keeping to spinners; his positions, footwork, glovework, reaction time: everything is wrong.

If the selectors think Wade is one of Australia’s top-six batsmen, then pick him there and have Haddin as keeper.

If they don’t, they should swallow their pride and drop him.

They should have already addressed the lack of right-hand batsmen.

There was a time when a cricket team might have one left-handed batsman.

It’s an historical oddity that there now a glut of them.

The current Australian team might have ‘‘cackey-handers’’ as seven of the first eight batsmen.

England’s Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann will be rubbing their hands at bowling to all these lefties. 

There are right-handers in the Sheffield Shield of potential. They should be given the chance of developing in bigger matches to balance it out.

A left-right hand opening combination is the ideal, which leads inevitably to Shane Watson’s future.

The right-handed and injury-prone Watson’s best cricket has been played as a Test opener, where he averages over 40.

Time to decide whether it’s worth persevering with such a doubtful conveyance.

It’s past time for when Steve Smith should have been told to forget about Twenty/20s, one-dayers and batting or anything else, and practise leg-spin bowling full-time.

Nathan Lyon is progressing well but he’s not Graeme Swann or Sri Lanka’s Herath, and English batsmen face Lyon offspin types for breakfast.

The selectors have plenty on their plates, and haven’t chosen the best courses so far.


Sonny Bill Williams, Anthony Mundine, Quade Cooper, Israel Folau, Shane Warne ... an allstar team of celebrity mercenaries to rival the best: a modern-day Harlem Globetrotters.

A pity there is such a restriction on their talents.

Why should fans be denied?

Boxing, basketball, archery, shooting, lawn bowls, marbles...the team should be allowed to straddle the sporting universe.


When all the criticism of the Shane Warne-Marlon Samuels fracas-brouhaha-melee is over, keen-minded fans might ask is there something sus about it all.

They might recall the Paul McCartney-is-dead, replaced-by-a-substitute conspiracy theory.

They’ll recall the fat-cheeked, roly-poly barge-arse who took that hat-trick and 700+ Test wickets, and loved by nearly all.

This new slimline, face-unmarked Warne by name and with the vague resemblance must be a ring-in, surely.

What have they done with our Shane? Is he dead or alive?

It’s got heads in a spin.


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