Adam Gilchrist weighs into debate over whether Tasmanian Matthew Wade should keep in the Ashes

PRACTICE: Matthew Wade batting in the nets during Tasmanian preseason. Picture: Supplied.
PRACTICE: Matthew Wade batting in the nets during Tasmanian preseason. Picture: Supplied.

Returning Tasmanian gloveman Matthew Wade has the backing of Australian keeping great Adam Gilchrist – just for now.

The 29-year-old is coming off another poor tour of the subcontinent, scoring just 17 runs at 5.67 in the recent Bangladesh Test series.

Wade, who is set to stand behind the stumps for his home state since leaving for Victoria a decade ago, conceded 47 byes in two Tests.

He was controversially recalled at the expense of incumbent Peter Nevill last Australian summer.

“It was tough on (Nevill) to get dropped,” Gilchrist told TV sports talk show The Back Page. “I thought he was the victim of a pretty poorly performed batting order. Wade came in because they wanted runs and they wanted a voice behind the stumps.”

Wade has averaged just 20.23 with the bat in his six matches since his Test recall.

But Gilchrist, who ended a 96-Test career with a 47.60 batting average and took 416 dismissals, feels sympathy for Nevill while hoping Wade gets a fair go from selectors.  

“I think they dropped him just a bit early,” he said.

“Now that Wade’s back in, they’ve said you’ve got to get in there and do a job for us.

“Six of his 10 Tests he’s had since he got back in has been the sub-continent – most difficult place to keep wicket; most difficult place to bat. 

“I think with my player’s cap on, I hope selectors show some faith and say you’ve got a few Ashes tests here to go.

“As a fan, wanting Australia to win the Ashes, I think Nevill should be back in.”