He might be more than 3,000 kilometres away, but Alex Carey might well have made Matthew Wade’s sleep on Thursday night ahead of today’s fourth T20 against New Zealand in Wellington that little bit tougher.
On Thursday afternoon, the South Australian wicket-keeper batsman scored almost half his side’s runs to heap more pressure on Wade as the race for the Australia T20 wicket-keeper position heats up.
Carey, who was picked for the abandoned tour of South Africa, fell for 99 in the Redbacks’ total of 204, as they were bowled out against a NSW side featuring Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.
Meanwhile, across the ditch, Wade will be hoping he gets another chance to prove his worth at the top of the order as Australia attempts to keep the five-match series alive.
Watch The QANTAS T20 Tour of NZ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Agar spins Australia to victory
After captain Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell returned to form to see Australia to victory at the Cake Tin on Wednesday, the wicket-keeping position remains the most open spot in the side ahead of October’s T20 World Cup.
Despite two half-centuries against India to round out the three-match T20 series last December, the left-hander is under massive pressure to retain his position.
Having been axed from Australia’s side to play South Africa after a fruitless home Test summer against India, Wade earned a reprieve of sports by being included in the T20 series in New Zealand.
But after scores of 12, 24 and five, Wade knows his international career is hanging by a thread.
After all, it was only on the eve of this series that the straight-talking Wade reflected on his axing from the Test side.
“I got a call from (selector) Trevor Hohns and he told me I was going to New Zealand and not South Africa,” Wade said.
“He left the door open to talk in depth if I wanted to about the reasons why. I left it at that to be honest. It was a really quick conversation. I’ve hung around long enough Trevor to know that if you don’t perform at my age, at a high level, then your spot is going to be up.
“If the team is not winning, then there is more chance of something like that happening. I mean you go into the nuts and bolts of why players get dropped, but it’s usually pretty simple. Usually not performing at the ability you should be or the team is not having the success it should be.”
MATCH CENTRE: New Zealand vs Australia, live scoreboard, video
Hattrick one over, 36 the next!
Wade enters Friday’s fourth T20 with pundits back home calling for dashing right-hander Sixers batsman Josh Philippe to be promoted to partner Aaron Finch at the top of the order and Ben McDermott to come in at No.3.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing Philippe open. Just give him a go opening and see how he goes,” Shane Warne said on Fox Cricket following Australia’s 64-run on Wednesday night.
“I’d like to see Ben McDermott get a game,” Warne added.
“He’s dominated Big Bash the last few years, so I’d like to see him get a game up the top somewhere. Maybe No.3, maybe give him a keep as well.”
Warne wasn’t alone, with Mark Waugh also calling for Philippe to open.
The former ODI World Cup winners also called for selectors to be bold and back their side to win whilst making key changes to give opportunities to others.
“I think those players on the bench are good enough to still win a game, so I’d like to see a few changes in these last few games,” Waugh said.
Warne, agreed: “That’s what it’s meant to be, isn’t it?
“They said it was going to be a bit of an experimental tour, we’re going to try a few people out of position, different spots, see what works, and let’s see how they go.”
Get all the latest cricket news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!
Kohli and Stokes fire up in the middle!
After Riley Meredith’s excellent debut, the right-arm quick is likely to keep his spot.
Andrew Tye could come into consideration to replace either Kane Richardson or Jhye Richardson, while Jason Behrendorff has yet to be included either.
Australian selectors will be relieved with how Finch’s men responded on Wednesday.
After slumping to a 53-run loss in their first match, some Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams heroics nearly saw Australia pinch the second match, before Wednesday’s big win.
Their victory was built on the back of Finch’s explosive 69 and Maxwell’s 70 off 31, before Meredith’s impressive opening (2-24) was finished by Ashton Agar’s Australian best figures of 6-30.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mark Chapman, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Australia: Aaron Finch, Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Marsh, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa
CLICK HERE IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE BLOG ABOVE