Ashes: Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade hopes to force his way into Australia's Test team
Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is hoping to force his way into the Ashes Test side as a specialist batsman.
Last Updated: 26/07/13 11:54am
The 25-year-old is one of five players, along with James Faulkner, Ashton Turner, Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird, who will be out to impress in Hove after failing to make it into the tourists' side for the first two Ashes Tests.
And after the humbling 347-run defeat at Lord's, which left Australia 2-0 down in the series, places for the crunch third Test at Old Trafford are up for grabs.
David Warner, who was banned before the Ashes for throwing a punch at England's Joe Root during a night out, has staked his claim by scoring 193 for the Australia A side against South Africa A in Pretoria, and Wade is keen to make the most of his chance to impress.
"This is a huge opportunity for everyone who hasn't got a game yet during this Ashes series," said Wade.
"I haven't played out in the middle for a couple of months now so to get an opportunity is great.
"I'm obviously here as back-up keeper for Brad (Haddin), but I know what I have got to do. I need to get some runs and push for a spot as a batsman.
"David Warner got a century for the A side yesterday so the bar has been raised, but every batsman has got an opportunity to put some pressure on and get a spot.
"I'll take a spot wherever I can get it, as a wicketkeeper or a batsman. If I get a tap on the shoulder and asked to play an Ashes game, I'm ready to go."
Wade says the conditions have played a part in Australia's poor showing so far in the series, but he believes the lessons they have learned from the first two Tests will put them in good stead for the third.
"The conditions are something we have maybe underestimated a bit," added Wade. "We thought we would come here and there would be a lot more in them.
"The weather has made the wickets quite dry which has helped Graeme Swann with spin. But we've learned a lot in the first two Tests about how the wickets are going to play and how England are going to bowl to us.
"We're confident we can bounce back and be good in the third, fourth and fifth Tests.
"Spirits are really high, we're enjoying ourselves still and there is a lot of cricket still to play in this series."