After reports of team India’s unwillingness to play at the Gabba owing to the lockdown restrictions, Matthew Wade has stated that the hosts don’t want to play back-to-back games at SCG. He also stated that the team is willing to make sacrifices to play the fourth Test in Queensland.
Australia’s love affair with the Gabba is well documented, with it being one of their most successful venues at home, a place that is often deemed a nightmare for the visitors, owing to the bounce. While the Indian team has played at the venue before, this time around, thanks to the lockdown restrictions in Queensland, reports have suggested that the board has requested for a venue change.
Some reports have even suggested that the Indian team is fine with two back-to-back Tests at the SCG, one of the flattest tracks in Australia. However, Australia’s middle-order batsman and now makeshift opener Matthew Wade has bashed all such reports and stated that the hosts don’t want to be playing back-to-back games at the SCG, under no circumstances.
“Two games back-to-back at the SCG would not be something we’d want to do, we’d be much more comfortable playing the schedule (as planned), there’s no secret we love the Gabba and we want to get there. Our record is very good there and we tend to play good cricket there,” Wade told reporters on Sunday, reported India Today.
Wade also insisted that the hosts were ready for making sacrifices just to play at their favourite venue while also mentioning that it wasn’t the most ideal of situations.
“I knew coming into it, and a lot of people knew coming into it, it wasn’t going to be an ideal situation and if something went south, we were going to have to make some more sacrifices along the way. As a group we understand that and we’re ready for the challenge.”
Following the reports of the Indian team showing unwillingness to play at the Gabba, the southpaw was left shocked and stated that it was one of the ‘curveballs’ that they expected in the series. However, he insisted that the two teams stick to the schedule and complete the series.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it to be honest. We all knew we were going to get some curveballs and this is just one of them. The schedule has been rolled out and we’d prefer to stick to that. I would expect just to go to the Gabba regardless, (even) if that is more of a quarantine-based (situation), we fully expect to be going to Brisbane to play the Gabba Test.”
Regarding the battle between Steve Smith and Ravichandran Ashwin, the left-handed stated that the hosts didn't adapt quickly to the wicket, which cost them the game. He also ensured that there is nothing alarming in Smith's struggles against Ashwin.
"We didn't adapt quick enough to that wicket, but Steve (Smith) played against Ashwin plenty of times before this and he has been very successful on our wickets against him. I am sure he will be fine and no problems at all. We have to find a way, that's the nature of the beast," he added, reported TOI.
With the return of both David Warner and Will Pucovski, it has put Wade's place as an opener in the shadows. However, Wade has postulated that he's quite comfortable to bat anywhere in the batting order, right from opening the innings to playing at No.7.
"I have really enjoyed opening, moving forward if that is something that selectors want me to keep doing more, I am comfortable doing. If I slide back down the order, I will do that also. I am ready from 1 to 7. I am happy to bat wherever playing games for Australia, I will take every run I get," he concluded.