MCG Test pivotal for gloveman 


Matthew Wade feels his noted concentration lapses could be due to a lack of food. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Matthew Wade feels his noted concentration lapses could be due to a lack of food. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The pressure of being Australia's Test wicketkeeper has exceeded Matthew Wade's expectations.

But if he dwells on his mistakes it will eat him up, he said.

Wade is about to play a Test at his adopted MCG home ground for the first time, starting on Boxing Day against Sri Lanka, and will enter the match under plenty of scrutiny after some recent mistakes.

His missed stumping of Graeme Smith and a dropped catch off Faf du Plessis cost Australia dearly in the drawn Adelaide Test against South Africa.

The gloveman, who turns 25 on Boxing Day, again missed a stumping chance, of Nuwan Kulasekara, in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

While there is no suggestion Wade's spot is under question, his predecessor Brad Haddin has been keeping the heat on with strong form at domestic level.

But the seven-Test player said the pressure he felt within himself not to let his country down was greater than from any outside source.

"I'm disappointed. I don't need to read what's printed or what's said in the media to get disappointed or for me to be thinking about my glovework," he said.

"You can't miss chances behind the stumps - it's as simple as that. Especially in Test cricket.

"I'm thankful this one [Hobart] didn't cost us as much as what it did in Adelaide."

Wade blamed his missed opportunities on concentration lapses.

He even felt that not eating enough during Tests because of his nerves could have contributed.

But though the Tasmanian's errors had come closer together than he would have liked, all keepers let chances slip sometimes and it was counter-productive to review his mistakes repeatedly, he said.

"If I'm going to dwell on that, it's going to eat me up. So I've got to look forward at ways to improve."

Having played his first three Tests in the West Indies, he was struck by the extra pressure of playing at home this summer, Wade said.

"It gives me so much more respect for people who have been playing Test-match cricket for 10 or 15 years and been doing it day in, day out." AAP


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