Alex Carey replaces Matthew Wade in Australian Test squad for South Africa tour

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Australia’s 33-year-old batsman Matthew Wade has been axed from Australia’s test squad for the tour of South Africa after his lean series against India. Wade has been replaced by Alex Carey, who received his maiden Test call-up.

Matthew Wade will instead head to New Zealand with Australia’s Twenty20 squad for a five-match series starting February 22 in Christchurch.

Further, the selectors have also show confidence in the leadership of Tim Paine, who faced a lot of criticism for his on-field tactics and behaviour after the 2-1 series loss to Australia.

“Tim Paine has been an outstanding captain since taking over the Australian men’s Test team in incredibly difficult circumstances.

“Tim has the support of the team, the coach and everyone else at Cricket Australia and the result of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series has done nothing to diminish that.

“Tim is in career-best form with the bat and, while the series against India was not his best with the gloves by his own admission, he remains in the top echelon of wicketkeepers globally.

“And as a leader, he has been brilliant. To captain a squad through the many challenges presented by the pandemic – not least the unique pressures of hub life – is no easy task and Tim did that with strength, humility and good humour.

“After a series that attracted so much global interest, it was inevitable there’d be scrutiny. But some of the commentary surrounding Tim and his position as Test captain has been wide of the mark,” Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager said.

The Australian and South African cricket boards are yet to sign off on dates for the three-test tour as authorities in South Africa battle to contain COVID-19 infections.

Australia also released an 18-man Twenty20 squad for the New Zealand tour, which includes uncapped players Tanveer Sangha, a 19-year-old legspinner, wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe and paceman Riley Meredith.

Test squad: Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

T20 squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

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Vishwas Gupta