Australia batsman Matthew Wade, who has opened in the first two Tests against India, has stated that he is willing to bat lower down the order and or even sit out if both the regular openers in the squad — Will Pucovski and David Warner — return to the playing XI.
Both Warner and Pucovski have joined the Australian Test squad and have attended nets with Warner making clear that he would play the third Test even if he isn’t 100 per cent fit.
“I’ll prepare to bat where I have been batting (opening) and if I slide down then I am comfortable batting there,” said Wade while speaking to the media during an interaction on Sunday morning.
“We expect David to play. So it will be me and David or we make a change. Not sure if it will be me and Will,” added Wade.
The left-handed batsman though said he has not been informed about where he will bat in the next Test which begins Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“No, not as yet,” Wade said. “Obviously, Will has come back into the squad. Burnsy has gone out. Whether they make that change straightaway, and I slip back down or whether I don’t play at all. Who knows?… no indication at this stage of the game.”
The 33-year-old further said that he played in the opening slot to prove he is versatile enough to bat in any position.
“Coach Justin (Langer) asked me if I am comfortable. He didn’t push me or direct me. He asked if I am comfortable to go up there and open the batting. It didn’t worry me too much in case of Davey coming back. I thought it was an opportunity to show that I was versatile enough to bat from 1 and 7 — every possible place in the Test line-up. I thought it was a positive opportunity going forward. I can cover all the positions if something goes wrong on the tour. I can keep wickets for Tim Paine. So I saw it more as a positive than worry about being picked in the side. My spot has been speculated for 10 years now. So I will just go out and do what I can do,” said Wade.
“I really enjoyed opening. I didn’t really know what to expect going into the pink-ball Test before I batted there. I think the last three times, it has not been that much different. You have to be a bit more cautious early. But I enjoyed that. Getting the pads on, getting stuck into them. Really enjoyed it. Moving forward if that is what selectors want me to do… I am happy to play anywhere…slide back down the order,” he added.
The left-handed opener also revealed he had a chat with Pucovksi who joined the nets and had lengthy session facing shot-pitched deliveries from Aussie bowlers. The uncapped 22-year-old batsman was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Kartik Tyagi during a warm-up game in early December.
“Yeah, I had a chat with him, just chit-chat. Little bit about how he is going with the concussions and things like that. He seems to be in a really, really good place…seen him get back to the Test squad in a really good place shows that he really wants to play Test cricket,” Wade said.
“We didn’t know if he’d come back at all. For him to come back and put his hand up for selection shows he wants to be here and play Test cricket. So that is a positive for everyone in Australian cricket,” he added.
The ongoing four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne.