Australia greats call for Nevill’s Test return

Two of Australia’s greatest Test cricketers have called for the return of wicketkeeper Peter Nevill to the Test side ahead of the Ashes series which starts next month.

Mathew Wade has come under increasing pressure to hold onto his spot in the Australian Test team after a lean trot with the bat.

Former Australia opening batsman Michael Slater said the selectors must go back to Nevill as he is simply the best gloveman.

The search for Australia’s next keeper is tricky as the selectors try to find someone in the mould of Adam Gilchrist, who was not only a good gloveman but one of the best batsman in the world.

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Slater said on Sports Sunday: “I think we go back to the guy who’s (the best) gloveman. I read some quotes from (former Australia wicketkeeper) Ian Healy.

“Now he knows a little bit about ‘keeping and he said ‘let’s go for the gloveman, let’s not make excuses for the top six batters doing the job and expect the ‘keeper to do what Gilchrist did’.

“It’s like looking for another Warnie (Shane Warne) – you don’t find them. Get the guy who can take all (the catches). (Nevill) averaged over 50 for NSW last year. There’s nothing wrong with his batting.

“He might not be an aggressor but he does a fantastic job. He might not talk as much as Wade but I’m not sure the talk from Wade is appealing to some of his teammates.”

For his part, Gilchrist has given his opinion on the matter saying Nevill was treated harshly to be dropped in the first place.

Nevill was axed in favour of Wade during last year’s Test series at home to South Africa despite hitting a half-century in the first Test in Perth.

Gilchrist said on Fox Sports: “First of all I think that Nevill… it was tough on him to get dropped. When that big cleanout happened last summer, I thought he was the victim of a poorly performed batting order.

“Wade came in because they wanted runs and they wanted voice behind the stumps. I thought it was hard on Nevill to be dropped then.

“Nevill got 60 in the Test before (in Perth), went back to Shield cricket, scored two hundreds. I reckon (the selectors) flicked him just a bit early.

“But now that Wade’s back in, they’ve said ‘Right, you’ve got to get in there and do a job for us’. Six of his 10 Tests he’s had since he’s been back in have been in the subcontinent, the most difficult place to keep wicket, the most difficult place to bat.

“With an ex-player’s cap on, I hope the selectors show him some faith and say ‘You’ve got a few Ashes Tests here to go’. As a fan, wanting Australia to win the Ashes, I think Nevill should be back in.”

The Ashes against England gets underway next month with the first of five Tests starting on 23 November in Brisbane.