Matthew Wade has revealed he rejected an offer from chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns to chat about his Test axing but still harbours hope of winning back his place in the side.
Wade’s chapter as a specialist Test batsman crashed to a halt when he wasn’t selected in Australia’s squad for the tour of South Africa, which has since been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The selectors had clearly run out of faith with a batsman who had tallied just 173 runs at an average of only 21.62 in Australia’s failed four-Test series against India. Wade passed 30 in four innings but failed to ever surpass 45, while he gifted the visitors his wicket with rash shots on three occasions.
Wade opened up about being dropped from the Test squad in an interview ahead of Monday’s T20 series-opener in Christchurch.
“I had the opportunity to turn starts into big scores and I didn’t do it,” Wade said.
“If you don’t do it, this is what happens.
“I got plenty of scores, 30s and 40s, which at my age and the level we’re playing at, you’ve got to turn … into big scores.
“If I’d turned those into hundreds or 80s or 90s, we’re not having this conversation.”
Wade dropped his wicketkeeping gloves and returned to the Test side as a pure batsman for Australia’s 2019 Ashes tour of England, a reward for a mountain of runs in the Sheffield Shield.
And while he notched two centuries in that drawn series, he conceded that he hadn’t performed at an acceptable level on home soil against India.
“I know I missed my opportunity; I played some poor shots and I find myself in the scenario I’m in now,” Wade said.
“You can go into the nuts and bolts of why some players get dropped, but it’s usually pretty simple – you’re not performing at the level you should be. I don’t really need to dive into it too much.
“I know where I’m at, I’m comfortable with what I did.
“There was probably always going to be someone left out when we lost the series – and that was me.”
Wade is yet to rule out breaking back into the Test XI despite being 33 and the fact the likes of Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Moises Henriques and Kurtis Patterson are all on the fringe of Test selection.
Australia is due to host Afghanistan for one Test in November, before attempting to retain the Ashes on home soil over the 2021-22 summer.
“In terms of my path back into the Test team, that will take care of itself if I perform and, if an opportunity comes up, they [selectors] know I can play at that level,” Wade said.
“I will go back and contribute to, hopefully, wins for Tasmania … If I do that, and manage to score the runs on the way to those wins for Tassie, then maybe I get another opportunity.
“But I have never been a player that goes back and just wants to score runs individually for himself.”
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