sport

Clarke happy with Wade choice

Michael Clarke has backed his decision to allow wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to bowl on the final day of Australia's first Test against Sri Lanka.

Wade was the surprise selection by Clarke for the final over before tea on an unpredictable wicket with the home side still needing six wickets for victory.

It was the first time since 1983 that an Australian wicketkeeper had bowled in a Test match and Wade produced a couple of good balls as he bowled a maiden.

Australia went on to win the first Test by 10 wickets with 10 overs to spare and Clarke would have no hesitation giving Wade the ball again.

"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," Clarke wrote in his column for News Ltd newspapers.

"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 has played down his chances of becoming a regular in Australia's attack, believing the circumstances were exceptional enough for him to get the ball.

"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," said Wade.

"Let's be honest, I haven't seen that happen too often, in a Test match especially. I think (MS) 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."