Matthew Wade has “signed his own death warrant” by agreeing to open the batting in the first Test against India as he fights to keep his place in the side, according to former Australian all-rounder Simon O’Donnell .
The Aussie top- order batsman was in disarray heading into the clash at Adelaide Oval. Joe Burns was woefully out of form, David Warner was out injured with a groin strain and prodigious young gun Will Pucovski was missing with concussion.
Burns was retained and repaid the selectors’ faith with an unbeaten half century in the second innings of Australia’s incredible eight-wicket win — and Wade was asked to open alongside him, jumping up from his customary No. 6 position.
When fit, Warner will walk back into the side and Burns’ undefeated 51 ensures he will avoid the axe. Pucovski will also be vying for a place when he recovers, leaving him and Wade to fight it out with Adelaide debutant Cameron Green for one batting position.
Agreeing to open the batting despite never having done so in his first class career meant Wade was leaving himself vulnerable to failure in a position he’s not accustomed to, and O’Donnell believes that may eventually cost him his place in the first XI.
“I think Matthew Wade has signed his own death warrant, just from being a really good team man and doing the right thing,” O’Donnell told SEN Breakfast.
“When David Warner’s ready to come back in, he comes straight back in. The guy who goes is Mathew Wade.”