Travis Head could be the man now in the Boxing Day selection gun according to Test great Mike Hussey as the fitness of opener David Warner remains under a cloud.
Both Hussey and former keeper Brad Haddin believe selectors will stick with young all-rounder Cameron Green for the MCG showdown with India which means a batsman has to go if Warner recovers from his groin injury.
Warner has been in Melbourne since the weekend rehabbing the injury and a selection decision could be avoided if he’s ruled out.
But Hussey said Wade, who moved to open with Joe Burns in the first Test in Adelaide in Warner’s absence, was more likely to keep his spot and Head, who made a Boxing Day century last summer against New Zealand, could miss out.
“I think they will persevere and keep Cameron Green in the side because of that balance that he offers,” Hussey said on Fox Cricket’s The Follow On podcast
“I think it comes down to who they prefer more, Wade or Travis Head, in the next Test match. I‘m not sure which way I’d go, it’s a tough call. Head was vice-captain last year.
“If I had to make a call and I had to get off the fence, I‘d probably lean towards Matthew Wade staying.”
Head came in to the Test summer after two massive Sheffield Shield hundreds for South Australia, including an innings of 171 not out.
But he was out for just seven in Australia’s first innings and while Wade only made eight opening the batting for the first time, he looked better making 33 in the second innings before copping a freakish run-out.
“I thought Matty Wade actually looked pretty good out there, particularly in the second innings,” Hussey said.
“He looked pretty confident and he was a bit unlucky to get out the way he did. He‘s the sort of guy, he’s got a great character; he’s not going to shy away from any situation.
“It‘s a tough one for him, being asked to do that job, because I guess they’re desperately keen to get Cameron Green into the team.”
Matthew Wade was solid in the first Test against India after answering an SOS to open the batting (Photo by William WEST / AFP) /Source:AFP
Haddin said Wade was the “only choice” to open and it would be hard to leave him out of the second Test.
“What he did, that was the first time he’s opened the batting in any form of first class cricket, so to do that, it shows great character and it shows he’ll do whatever he can to be part of this Australian team,” Haddin said.
“Travis Head, I still think he‘s developing. He got a hundred last Boxing Day they played, got a couple of good hundreds in Shield cricket. He’d be disappointed with the way he got out, I think, in the first Test.
“I would find a spot, a way, to keep Matthew Wade in the team.”
In last year’s Boxing Day Test against the Kiwis, Wade made 38 and 30 not out while Head scored 114 and 28, batting at No.5 and No.6 respectively.
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