Clarke's controversial call on Ashes keeper debate

Matthew Wade must remain as Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper for the start of the Ashes series despite his Sheffield Shield struggles, according to former captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke's controversial call on Ashes keeper debate

Clarke's controversial call on Ashes keeper debate

Pressure is intensifying on Australian selectors to make a change in the position, given Wade has averaged just 20 with the bat since his Test recall last summer.

The Tasmanian again fell cheaply for Tasmania against Queensland in Hobart on Sunday, meaning he now has first-class scores of just one, six, nine and 17 in two matches this year.

Meanwhile, Peter Nevill is firming in the eyes of several critics, despite having not played for Australia since he was one of five players dropped after last summer's flogging at the hands of South Africa in the second Test at Hobart, where the hosts were rolled for 85 in their first innings.

Clarke wants Wade in the team. Image: Getty

While Clarke said the decision to axe Nevill at the time wasn't necessarily the right one, he insisted the selectors had to stick by Wade heading into the Ashes.

"That was a complete circus what happened after that South African Test series," Clarke told Channel Nine's Sports Sunday.

"But they dropped Nevill. They made that tough decision.

"Now that they've done that they have to stick with Matthew Wade. His last 10 Test matches have been in the sub-continent."

Wade made his debut under Clarke in the West Indies in 2012, before he was replaced by Brad Haddin in 2013.

Since being recalled last summer, he has passed 50 just once in 16 Test innings.

But Clarke said Wade's best was still ahead of him with both the bat and the gloves.

"Yes he might not have batted as well as we expect him to bat," Clarke said.

"But this guy can play. I've seen him make two unbelievable centuries - one in the West Indies and one at the SCG.

"His keeping has definitely improved. They have to give him an opportunity, they have to start with him."

Wade's chief rivals, Nevill and Alex Carey, both missed chances to press their claims in the second round of the Sheffield Shield this weekend.

Nevill failed to add to his overnight score against Western Australia for NSW on Sunday, caught behind trying to drive Jhye Richardson on 32 at Sydney's Hurstville Oval.

Carey was patient in his 36 against Victoria at the MCG on Saturday, but missed a straightforward chance to stump century-maker Marcus Harris on day two.


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