The voices of the masses are clamouring for Peter Nevill to be restored to wicketkeeper for the first Test of the Ashes in Brisbane’s Gabba Stadium.
Nevill’s name is mentioned prominently, but there is also quite a bit of strong support for SouthAustralia’s Alex Carey, but Nevill has the support of Adam Gilchrist and Michael Slater, so the 31-year-old Nevill would seem the likely one to be handed the gloves.
Matthew Wade, due to struggles with the willow, has fallen out of favour.
Wade was brought in to the Aussie Test XI last summer when the side was on a losing streak of five straight. The Aussies were humiliated by South Africa at Hobart and the new look selection panel took the axe to five players, including Nevill for the day-night Test at Adelaide.
Nevill averaged 22.28 after 17 Tests, so it is hard to imagine why now there seems to be so much support for bringing him back.
Gilchrist claims that dropping Nevill was a cruel misdeed. “It was tough on him to get dropped,” Gilchrist said on Fox Sports’ Back Page Live. “I thought he was the victim of a pretty poorly performed batting order, top order.Wade came in because they wanted runs and they wanted a voice behind the stumps.”
That all sounds logical, but the travails of the Aussie side have become something of nearly epidemic proportions.
Wade clearly was not the answer. His average with the bat was even worse than Nevill’s, at just 20.23.
From the other side of his mouth, Gilchrist defends Wade, saying, “Six of his 10 Tests he’s had since he’s been back have been in the subcontinent — the most difficult place to keep wicket and the most difficult place to bat.
There is also a vocal group that says that wicketkeepers should keep wickets first, and that anything they manage to do with the bat is a secondary consideration.