Having spoken just last month about his expectations for batting in Australia’s top three, Matthew Wade is now set for the middle order ahead of the T20I series with Bangladesh. The change comes as a result of Mitchell Marsh’s success against the West Indies batting at number three, as well as the impending return of Steve Smith, as per ESPN cricinfo.
In that series, Marsh made three convincing fifties, but Australia were turned over 4-1 by a powerful West Indies line-up. The decision to change things up will thus not come as a huge surprise, although Australia’s form in the shortest format will be starting to trouble their management.
In a press conference, Wade said “It’s something I’m looking forward to. I’ve been up the top for three years and feel like any time called upon I can do a good job up there, so to go back into the middle order is a challenge I’m excited to do. It doesn’t faze me too much, whatever needs to be done.
“Then once the World Cup comes around, whether that means I go back up the top or stay in the middle order we aren’t 100% sure. The way Mitch has come out and played at No. 3, that’s certainly another option for us at the top. He could open as well if we needed him to. So we are probably rolling through a few different scenarios of where guys can fit in the best team come the World Cup.”
Australia are not short of talent, but their chopping and changing seems in stark contrast to England’s T20 setup, which selected the same twelve players over a five-match series in India back in March. With the World Cup just over two months away, the relative lack of stability will be of some concern to the men in gold, and perhaps explains their lower berth in the favourites’ odds, behind their Ashes rivals and India.