England v Australia: Matthew Wade Ashes-watch

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade

Our Ashes-watch series concludes with a look at wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade, with analysis from former England keeper Paul Nixon and Wade's Victoria team-mate Dirk Nannes.

England not only hammered Australia 4-0 in their one-day series, they also inflicted psychological blows on one or two of the young players who are expected to return in search of the Ashes next summer.

The story so far

Wade has displaced Brad Haddin as Australia's one-day wicketkeeper this year after some prolific Sheffield Shield campaigns for Victoria.

He scored 67 on his debut against India in February but is yet to fully justify the call-up, averaging 21.60 from 21 matches. The left-hander, who represented Australia at under-19 and second-team level, was given his chance in the Test arena when Haddin was forced to miss the West Indies series because of personal reasons and responded with a breezy hundred in the third Test.

Wade is renowned for a mental strength partly borne out of an adolescent battle with testical cancer. Diagnosed at the age of 16, he needed two courses of chemotherapy to overcome the illness.

How did he get on this series?

Wade showed glimpses of his batting talent with 27 off 32 balls at Lord's and looked capable of turning the match before he was run out in a mix-up with Michael Clarke.

Cheap dismissals followed at The Oval and Chester-le-Street, where he was brilliantly caught behind by Craig Kieswetter after getting an inside edge to his first ball.

He was elevated to the top of the order at Old Trafford in place of the injured Shane Watson but struggled from the off in bowler-friendly conditions.

With Steven Finn and James Anderson getting the ball to dance to their tune under grey skies, Wade could not get a bat on it and was frequently reduced to groping outside off stump.

In a match reduced to 32 overs per side, Wade laboured to four off 24 balls before he was dropped twice in the slips in the space of two overs.

Frustration got the better of Wade when he charged down the wicket at his 41st ball and was stumped by Kieswetter for 12 after missing a turning delivery from James Tredwell.

Wade kept tidily enough under the lights as Australia's bowlers threw everything at England, but their revised target of 138 off 29 overs was never likely to be enough - and so it proved as Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara steered England home with 11 balls to spare.

The experts' view

Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon: "England is very different to Australia, which is the easiest place in the world to keep wicket. It tests you technically and mentally here because it will swing after it goes past the bat and you can stand up more on slightly slower pitches.

"Wade did this in the one-day international at Durham but, for me, he stayed too low for too long and when you do that you have less time to catch the ball.

"His batting looks good against the seamers but very limited against spin. Down the order on turning pitches, you have to be able to hit boundaries and he looks short of boundary options. I think he has a lot of work to do if he is to become a regular in the Australia Test side but he looks like he has a fantastic attitude and work ethic."

Former Australia fast bowler Dirk Nannes: "Wade is a quality young player and he's shown he's deserved his chance, which he's earned because of his performances in Australia in the last couple of years.

"I think he would have liked to have put on a few more big scores, but with the gloves he's been pretty solid.

"He can struggle in new environments, so this tour should have done him the world of good. If Brad Haddin doesn't come next summer, I'd expect Wade to be the man that wears the gloves for the Ashes, no doubt.

"He hasn't fired too many shots, but he played pretty well at Lord's before getting run out. He's a player that I've played with a lot, and he's a player that if he knows who he's up against and is comfortable, he can dominate.

"He's got every shot in the book and when I bowl to him in the nets I don't know where to bowl to because he smashes it. He has a great eye and he's really competitive. If you were going to war you'd want him in the trenches with you, because he's a fighter."