Matthew Wade to avoid verbal battle with Virat Kohli: The Australian batsman believes Indian players thrive off on-field confrontations.
Australia batsman Matthew Wade believes the players will remain unperturbed while playing behind closed doors as the sport remains the same even in the absence of spectators. Wade referred to Australian players’ feedback from playing in an empty SCG stadium against New Zealand in March.
“I didn’t play [at the SCG] and was only running drinks, but I spoke to the players out there and they said walking out to play was a weird feeling, but once a ball was bowled it felt like a normal game of cricket, which we are used to playing. Guys have played hundreds of games of cricket in front of nobody. So they are used to that,” Wade said.
Much like veteran England seamer James Anderson, Wade also touched upon innovative techniques used in the National Rugby League and hoped for Cricket Australia and International Cricket Council to take inspiration in a bid to make the atmosphere “more entertaining”.
“I see the NRL are doing little things to make the atmosphere better for players and those watching on TV so I’m sure CA and ICC will be talking about things they can do to make it a little more entertaining,” Waid added.
Other than Anderson and Wade, former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, fast bowler Pat Cummins and batsman Usman Khawaja, veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh, Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq and veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor have all been vocal about playing top-level cricket without spectators.
Matthew Wade to avoid verbal battle with Virat Kohli
Wade, who is likely to play a vital role during India’s tour of Australia 2020-21, considers the visitors as a “fierce” team and expects the high-profile series to be a “huge clash”.
“They are a fierce team. They are in your face, elite fielders which India probably haven’t been renowned for over a 20-year period. But they are up and about all the time when you are batting. It’s going to be a huge clash,” Wade further said.
Wade, who has been involved in verbal battles with the likes of India captain Virat Kohli and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the past, appears to have learnt his lesson after knowing that Indian players thrive off the same. The southpaw further laid emphasis on “staying away” from on-field confrontation against the Indians.
“I’ll go out and play the way I like to play. We certainly don’t go out chasing it. If it comes our way, then you deal with it out on the field. Virat’s [Kohli] very clever in the way he uses his words or his body language, so they use it as an advantage now.
“To be honest, I don’t want to engage too much into that. I know they thrive off that energy which comes from two players. They are probably as good at doing that as anyone in the world at the moment, something I might stay away from this time,” Wade concluded.
It is worth mentioning that former Australia captain Michael Clarke had publicly criticized the Australian team for “sucking up” to the Indian players during India’s tour of Australia in 2018-19. Clarke’s statement had invited responses from fast bowler Pat Cummins, Test captain Tim Paine and ODI and T20I captain Aaron Finch.