'Slap in the face': Aussie cricket great hits out at brutal axing

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Matthew Wade (pictured) walking out after being dismissed.
Former Aussie allrounder Simon O'Donnell has hit out at the way Matthew Wade (pictured) was axed ahead of the South African Tour. (Getty Images)

Matthew Wade’s axing from the Australian squad didn’t sit well with one Australian cricket great who labelled the move a ‘slap in the face’.

Wade paid the ultimate price for Australia’s Test series loss to India after he was dropped for the team’s upcoming tour of South Africa.

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Selectors named five uncapped players in a 19-man squad on Wednesday, however Wade was a major omission.

Wade played in all four Tests against India, scoring 173 runs from eight innings at an average of 21.62.

While Wade was dropped, after moving up and down the order to help his team, Travis Head was reinstated after a disappointing series.

This sparked former Aussie All-Rounder Simon O’Donnell to admit there wasn’t any excuses for his lack of runs, but it was a tough ask for Wade to move up and down the order only to be axed from the squad.

“I really felt for him (Wade), that was a big ask and he created a couple of opportunities, he didn’t take them, but then not to be in a touring squad I think’s a real slap in the face,” O’Donnell said about Wade to SEN Breakfast.

“Travis Head’s still there. If Matthew Wade was a selection ahead of Travis Head, I’m not 100 per cent sure that works.

“I’m a Travis Head fan, I think he’ll be regular at five and six for the Australian team, he has to rectify getting out the same way too often. He’s a good kid, he’ll be working his butt off to do that.

“But the message that’s just been sent, I’m not sure it sits really well with me that that elevation has been made out of the practice nets and not games that have been played.”

Clarke lashes out over Paine critics

Former Aussie captain Michael Clarke has jumped to the defence of under fire captain Tim Paine ahead of the South African Tour.

Speculation swirled around Tim Paine’s future as captain of the Australian Test team, but that talk was put to bed on Wednesday when it was announced the 36-year-old would stay on as skipper.

Paine’s tactical nous had been called into question at various points in his tenure as captain, but not more so than during the recent 2-1 series loss to India.

Clarke suggested the team should be doing more to support Paine in his captaincy decisions.

Australia's captain Tim Paine looks on between the overs on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India.
Australia's captain Tim Paine looks on between the overs on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

“Obviously you have to make the team first but then the captaincy, it would have been spoken about,” he said on Big Sports Breakfast.

“My question is - so many past players, so many people - the fans of the game - have questioned Painey’s tactics throughout the series.

“So, you haven’t questioned his captaincy and you haven’t added anyone, whether it is a player or support staff member to the squad to help him with his tactics.

“How does he get better? How does he go to South Africa to improve?

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