Matthew Wade won’t be trying to get under Virat Kohli’s skin |

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Australia’s Test series against India later this year could be played in echoing, empty stadiums but Matthew Wade does not think it would be wise to try and compensate for the lack of atmosphere with too much talking to Virat Kohli‘s team.

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Wade, who currently occupies a middle-order spot in the Test side, is not shy of having a few words but believes India have become the best side in the world at feeding off any aggravation from the opposition. The recent documentary The Test showed last time when the two sides met in 2018-19, how captain Tim Paine made a conscious effort not to engage with Kohli knowing it’s something he feeds off, although that was recently criticised by Michael Clarke who suggested it was because of fear of losing IPL deals.

“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,” Wade, who wasn’t part of the previous Test series against India, said. “Virat’s very clever in the way he uses his words or his body language so they [India] use it as an advantage.

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“To be honest I don’t want to engage too much into that, I know they thrive off that energy which comes from two [confronting] players. They are probably as good at doing that as anyone in the world at the moment, so it’s something I might stay away from this time.”

The chances of the series taking place in December and January are continually improving and Cricket Australia announced the tentative fixture list last month that has the series beginning in Brisbane, where the home side haven’t lost since 1988, before heading to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Perth, where Australia won in the 2018-19 series, has missed out.

It is not beyond possibility that crowds could be allowed back in some capacity by the time India arrive, but CA are still planning for the series to be a lockout in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The prospect of facing India without crowds had previously prompted Nathan Lyon to consider what it would like watching Kohli “try to rev up empty seats” and Wade, who experienced an empty ground for the ODI against New Zealand at the SCG in March, concedes it will take some adjustment.

আরো পরুনঃ  স্পিনের মাধ্যমে আবারও ব্যাটসম্যানরা বিচারের মুখে পড়ে বলে ইংল্যান্ডের আগ্রাসনকে বেন স্টোকস রক্ষা করেন

“It’s just the atmosphere and buzz it gives you as a player,” he said. “To play at Edgbaston with that crowd going in the first Ashes Test is obviously a lot different than playing Bellerive Oval in front of not a lot of people, so it’s just the feeling, the energy you get off the crowd. The actual skill – bat versus ball – is pretty much exactly the same.

“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.

“I see the NRL [rugby league] are doing little things to make the atmosphere better for players and those watching on TV, so I’m sure CA and the ICC will be talking about things they can do to make it a little more entertaining. We’ll just be really happy to be out on the cricket field. Over the last few months, we’ve all got used to things that are changing. So whatever happens, we’ll deal with.”

আরো পরুনঃ  মিলার, ভ্যান ডের ডুসেন হাই-স্কোরিং প্রতিযোগিতায় ভারতের চ্যালেঞ্জকে প্রত্যাখ্যান করেছেন

On a personal level, Wade is eager to get back into pre-season training with Tasmania having taken the opportunity of the enforced break – which led to a deal with Somerset being cancelled as well as the postponed Test tour to Bangladesh – to have surgery to clear up a knee problem he had been carrying for the second half of last summer. Had Covid-19 not come along he would have continued to play through the pain, but is now focused on building towards the start of the domestic season although there remains a chance the limited-overs tour of England could take place in September.

“It has given me an opportunity to get my body right, had a pretty good crack for two years playing a lot of cricket to try and get back in the Australian team,” he said. “At my age, I want to keep playing as much as I can, that’s why I signed with Somerset to continue to play cricket in the break period we were going to have. The injury probably got a little bit worse, I probably wasn’t expecting to be back in the one-day team and I pushed it pretty hard.”

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