Recalled Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has declared himself up for “the scrap” if things get heated in the dead rubber test against South Africa in Adelaide.
The abrasive Wade replaces the more low-key Peter Nevill in a radically revamped Australia squad as the hosts look to avoid a first ever 3-0 series sweep on home soil.
Wade’s selection has proven contentious, with his glove-work considered inferior to Nevill’s and his recent batting form in domestic cricket patchy at best.
But the 28-year-old has two test centuries to his credit in his career of 12 matches, the last outing coming away to India in 2013.
Interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns also endorsed Wade as a “tough competitor”, the kind of personality his panel was hoping could support young captain Steven Smith in taking a raw team forward.
“I enjoy that part of the game, I enjoy the scrap,” Wade told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.
“I enjoy getting out there when our backs are to the wall. Hopefully that doesn’t come in this test, but if it does I’m looking forward to getting out there and having a scrap, yeah.”
Victoria captain Wade’s on-field demeanour has landed him in hot water on occasion, most recently during Australia’s 5-0 whitewash in the one-day international series in South Africa.
He was fined 25 percent of his match fee along with Proteas bowler Tabraiz Shamsi in Port Elizabeth after the pair clashed and ignored umpires’ orders to back away from a heated exchange.
“Obviously I’ve been picked for a reason and I’ll just come and play my way,” Wade added. “I’ve been picked to come in and be a bit of a presence hopefully, I suppose.”
Wade previously lost his test spot in part due to his patchy work behind the stumps but he feels he has improved in that department during his time in the test wilderness.
“Three years ago was a long time ago so (it is) hard to remember exactly what the selectors told me at that time,” he said.
“But I knew I needed to work on my keeping at that stage, it was no surprise I was out of the team. I’ve worked hard on it and I’m confident in it that I can contribute.
“It’s not about my wicketkeeping or my batting It’s about trying to find a way as a team to get some wins out.”
The third test starts at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.