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Matthew Wade To Don Keeping Gloves In T20I Series Opener Against West Indies

image-lsd3fn2oMatthew Wade is competing with Josh Inglis for wicketkeeper's role (Twitter)

Australian cricketer Matthew Wade is set to take on the keeping duties in the first T20 International against the West Indies, marking his first international appearance in Hobart since 2014. This decision comes amidst the intense competition for the keeper's spot between Wade and the in-form Josh Inglis, especially with the T20 World Cup looming in June.

Matthew Wade to keep wickets during AUS vs WI 1st T20I

George Bailey, the National men's selection chair, highlighted last month that the role of the team's primary wicketkeeper was still being contested, even as both Wade and Inglis were named in the squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series. 

Despite the ongoing uncertainty about who will ultimately secure the keeping role for future matches, Wade has been confirmed to keep in tomorrow's game at Bellerive Oval.

Matthew Wade, who has been a consistent presence behind the stumps for Australia in T20s since September 2021, playing in 51 consecutive matches, shared his thoughts on the competition. He expressed uncertainty about who would take over the keeping duties after the first match against the West Indies, hinting at the competitive nature of the selection process.

Josh Inglis has made a compelling case for his inclusion in the team, particularly with his recent performances at the top of the order in the ODI series against the Windies. His notable contributions helped Australia secure a 3-0 series victory, showcasing his potential to play as a specialist batter. 

With key players like Travis Head and Steve Smith rested and Matt Short injured, Inglis's role as a batter becomes even more critical as Australia seeks to fill the void left by Aaron Finch's retirement.

Bailey further praised Wade's contributions to the team, especially in the No.7 batting position, acknowledging the specialised skills required for the role. He also did not rule out the possibility of Wade and Inglis playing together in the team, given their respective strengths and the flexibility they offer to the batting lineup.

"Wadey's' done a phenomenal job in that (No.7) position across a long period of time. We're seeing that become a highly specialised and highly skilled position. That's not taking away some of the work that 'Ingo's' (Inglis) has done with the bat as well and nothing to say that both of them can play in the same team", said Bailey.

Meanwhile, as Australia gears up for the first T20I against the West Indies, the team's composition and strategy reveal a thoughtful consideration of both current form and strategic needs, setting the stage for an exciting series opener in Hobart on Friday.