Will stick to my batting plans: Wade
Matthew Wade fractured the bone just below his left eye before the Hyderabad Test. And on the first day of the match, he pulled off a rescue act for his team with a 62-run knock. His 145-run partnership with Michael Clarke for the fifth wicket took Australia past 200.
There were questions over his availability for the match, but Wade knew he was playing. “There was no doubt that I would play,” he said. “I just had to make sure that my eye didn’t close. When I woke up today in the morning, I had a look in the mirror and I could see properly. So, I said I’ll play.”
Wade’s no-fuss attitude towards the injury has its roots in his battle with testicular cancer as a 16-year-old. In a chat with bcci.tv, Wade told us about how the experience changed his perspective towards cricket and life and how his footballer father made him fall in love with cricket.
On his first Test tour to India, Wade also stated the importance of his partnership with Clarke and his own batting plans against the Indian bowlers.
How was that partnership with Michael Clarke as an apprenticeship in facing spinners on Indian tracks?
He’s a great person to bat with; he can talk and take you through the innings for a bit longer. It was a good partnership, but it would’ve been much better had we pushed to 200 together. Unfortunately, we lost a few wickets in that last session.
One remarkable thing about your innings today was the way you played the lofted straight-bat shots with the spin. Was that a plan you set out with?
Yes, it was a plan. I’ve worked out my plans against the spinners and pacers in the nets and it’s satisfying to see that they’re working. I will stick to them in the series.
You got out immediately after surviving a stumping chance. Was it a distraction?
I went back to cut it, but it bounced a little bit more than I expected and went to the fielder. That was disappointing, but the positive was that I faced a lot of balls.
How tough has it been for you to adjust to the low Indian tracks as a wicketkeeper?
It’s obviously different tracks to ‘keep on, but you’ve just got to watch the ball hard and get in good positions. You’ve got to create enough chances for yourself.
How much of a role do you think your move from Hobart to Melbourne as a teenager has had to play in you being here today?
It has played a massive part. I probably wouldn’t have been here if I didn’t make that move. I moved to Melbourne pretty early in my career and played a lot of first-class cricket. I definitely wouldn’t be playing for Australia if didn’t make that move.
Your father played football for Hawthorn in VFL. Was there anyone else in your family from whom you got your cricket?
My dad played football, but he loved his cricket too. I remember sitting with my dad watching the Boxing Day Test back home. He probably got me into it.
Much before you impressed with your cricketing skills, you gained respect with your mental toughness and willpower. When you look back at your battle with testicular cancer, do you think it played any role in your growth as a person and cricketer?
It has made me appreciate every little thing. You have bad days with cricket. When you go through something like this and see people around you, you realise what a loss actually is. It just helps you keep things in perspective.