Australia drop Matthew Wade, Tim Paine as captain for South Africa Test tour

Matthew Wade was removed on Wednesday for Australia’s Test series in South Africa after failing to fire against India, while Tim Paine retained the captaincy under pressure. Wade played all four games in a 2–1 Home Summer Series loss to India, with two openers in place of two injured David Warner. But he was able to score just 173 runs from his eight innings, eventually getting his side in the side due to a few rash shots and he was seen by Alex Carrie as the back-up wicketkeeper. Instead, Wade will join Australia’s Twenty20 squad on his tour of New Zealand as vice-captain along with vice-captain Aaron Finch.

Australia has to play three Test matches in South Africa. The tour was originally scheduled for February and March, but dates have yet to be discontinued due to concerns over coronaviruses.

Cricket Australia reiterated its commitment to travel on Wednesday, with the Test expected to take place in March or April.

The five-match T20 tour to New Zealand runs from 22 February to 7 March, which leads to a clash with South Africa, meaning many players including Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins are not available.

Wade was the main casualty from the India series, with the team a lot otherwise.

Uncapped bowlers Sean Abbott, Michael Naser, and Mitchell Swapson have been rejoined, with fellow quickies Mark Steketee and Carrie being the only new faces.

The inclusion of Carrie was significantly seen with the 29-year-old, who excelled for Australia in limited-overs international matches, tipped as a possible successor as captain of 36 years.

Pine’s sub-series was a series against India, especially the last two Tests when he missed chances and was fueled by his bowling changes, field playing and declaring decisions.

He was also fined for a missed umpire and forced to apologize after an ugly verbal molestation on India’s Ravi Ashwin, all of which put his captaincy under the microscope.

– ‘out of place’ –

But national selector Trevor Hohns said Pine is still the right man for the job.

“Tim Paine was the best against India at number seven and a batsman, wicketkeeper and captain still have a lot to offer in the Test field,” he said.

Cricket Australia national team chief Ben Oliver also lent his support to Pine.

“Tim has the support of the team, coaches and everyone else in Cricket Australia and the results of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series have not diminished anything,” he said.

“After a series that attracted so much global interest, it was unavoidable that the investigation be held. But some remarks about Tim and his status as Test captain have been wide of the mark.”

The absence of several T20 regulars opened the door for some new faces to travel to New Zealand, with three legged players, including teen leg-spinner Tanvir Sangha.

The other rogues are opener and Josh Philip and fast bowler Riley Meredith.

Paceman Jhe Richardson and Jason Behrendorff and spinner Ashton Egger make their return to the Australian complexion after prolonged injuries.


Test team for South Africa: Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Maranus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Naser, James Pattinson, Will Pukowski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc , Mark Steketee, Michelle Swepson, David Warner

T20 team for New Zealand: Aaron Finch (capt), Matthew Wade, Ashton Egger, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Phillip, Jhe Richardson, Ken Richardson, Daniel Symes, Tanvir Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis. Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa

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