Clarke: I'll keep bowling Wade

  • Last Updated: December 21 2012, 8:59 GMT

Australia captain Michael Clarke has defended his decision to bowl wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka and predicted the gloveman could roll his arm over more often in the future.

Matthew Wade: Turned his arm over in Hobart
Matthew Wade: Turned his arm over in Hobart

Wade became the first Australian wicketkeeper since Rod Marsh in 1983 to bowl in a Test match as Australia pushed for victory in Hobart.

Clarke's side still needed six wickets when Wade was thrown the ball for the final over before tea on an unpredictable wicket.

Eyebrows were raised - with the new ball also only 10 overs old - but Wade produced a couple of good balls as he bowled a maiden.

Australia eventually won the game with 10 overs to spare and Clarke said he would continue to be innovative in his quest to win Test matches.

"As a former Tassie boy, Matt received a great cheer from the crowd on the final day of the first Test when he took the keeping gloves off to bowl the last over before tea," he wrote in his weekly newspaper column.

"And he bowled with good pace. There are some opening bowlers around the world who struggle to reach the 132km/h Matt generated. We're going to see more of Matthew Wade bowling in Test cricket, that's for sure.

"The only thing we have to figure out now is who will take the gloves, Phil Hughes, who did it last Tuesday, or Dave Warner? Matt got me out a couple of times in the nets and got himself an over in Test cricket. It won't be his last."

Wade spoke on Thursday about his rare chance to bowl, saying it was "good fun" but he felt it was more an experiment by Clarke.

"Pup (Clarke) had spoken about how he was going to do anything to try and win a Test match and he pulled out all the stops," he said.

"Let's be honest, I haven't seen that happen too often, in a Test match especially. I think (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni's about the only other bloke that's really had a bowl.

"Obviously the wicket was a bit up and down, and I'm not the most gifted in the height department so I think he was just hoping I'd get one to run along the ground."

Clarke was slightly hamstrung in terms of his options in the second innings after Ben Hilfenhaus broke down earlier in the match. He said he would continue to try whatever it took to get the wickets needed.

"It reinforces my belief since I've been captain that it doesn't matter how we get 20 wickets or who takes them to win the Test," he said.

"If Matt gets some of those or Mike Hussey or Dave Warner then great."

Meanwhile, Clarke said he remained "supremely confident" he'll be fit to play in the Boxing Day Test after injuring his hamstring in Hobart.


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