Colour-blind Australian wicket-keeper ready for pink ball Test
ADELAIDE: Australia’s colour-blind wicket-keeper Matthew Wade insists he will cope in this week’s day-night Test against South Africa despite having difficulty in picking up the pink ball under lights.
The Victorian gloveman has been recalled at the expense of Peter Nevill among a raft of changes for the third Test at Adelaide from Thursday with Australia desperate to prevent a clean-sweep by the Proteas after defeats in Hobart and Perth.
Wade, banished from Test cricket three years ago due to shoddy glovework, admits his vision problem makes it difficult with the pink ball under lights, but is confident of adapting.
“I played pink ball at Adelaide Oval last year in a Shield game, so it’ll be interesting to see what it does in the Test arena. You’ve just got to get used to it,” he told reporters.
“I think it’s trying to get it out of your mind. I can see the colour of the ball, I pick it up. It’s just at times it takes a little bit longer to work out the depth of where it’s coming.”
He added: “It can’t be an issue, I’ve got to work it out.”
The match will be only the second day-night Test in Australia after the home side thrillingly beat New Zealand by three wickets on only the third day at Adelaide Oval last year.
Wade, recalled as much for his batting prowess as his keeping skills, said he found it easier now to cope with the pink ball than when it was first rolled out as a Sheffield Shield experiment in the 2013-14 season.
“I’ve got more used to it I suppose,” he said. “The more you play, you get more used to it, but the ball is getting better year-in, year-out.”
Former Test opener Chris Rogers also suffered from colour-blindness and in 2014 withdrew from a match in which a pink ball was being trialled.
Australia go into Thursday’s game on the back of five straight Test defeats and with the team in crisis as they look to stop South Africa becoming the first touring team to sweep a series Down Under.