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Wade’s bright idea, Buttler back, Windies batter banned four years, Bulls belt Tassie, Vics on top

Wade’s bright idea, Buttler back, Windies batter banned four years, Bulls belt Tassie, Vics on top

Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade credits England with providing “the lightbulb moment” for changing the way the side approaches Twenty20 cricket and ultimately winning last year’s World Cup.

The 34-year-old, speaking ahead of the three-match T20 series with England which starts in Perth on Sunday, reflected on an eight-wicket thrashing Australia received in the World Cup group stage last year where England chased 125 for victory and polished the target off inside 12 overs.

Ever since, Australia have adopted a more aggressive approach themselves, which served them well in last year’s final where they chased down 172 against New Zealand.

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Wade said he still regarded England as “the benchmark” in T20 cricket ahead of the World Cup which starts later this month.

“In the World Cup game (in 2021) they demolished us and that kind of changed the way we went about playing T20 cricket from that point onwards,” he said.

Matthew Wade bats in ODI colours.

Matthew Wade (Photo by Matt King – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

“We’ve been playing a different style of cricket since. That was the real lightbulb moment for the team that we needed to change the way we were playing.

“It will be good to match up against them and see how we go harder with the bat. We play seven batters and know that we can get a lot more runs. You need to be able to score 180 to 200 runs to beat the England team.”

Wade has proven himself to be a selfless team man, moving down the order to bat at No.7 after an extended stint opening.

He has fashioned himself into a superb finisher and got Australia home with a ball to spare in the three-wicket win over the West Indies on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.

“It has been really good (moving down the list) and is something that needed to come at that time,” Wade said.

“I had opened a lot and we have a lot of good opening batters, with a lot more to come.

“Before the (2021) World Cup I went down to seven and enjoyed the challenge of something different. I am starting to learn that position the more I play and these three games will be important for me to build on what I have done these last twelve or eighteen months.”

Australia will field a new-look side against England with star bowling quartet Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa among those staying behind to prepare for two further internationals against England in Canberra.

“In terms of getting towards the World Cup, obviously Marcus Stoinis will be back around the group and Ashton Agar,” Wade said.

“We are just waiting to see on their fitness and then start to lock down the eleven for the World Cup; but that is the luxury we have got at the moment.

“We can have a look at a few different combinations as we already have.”

Buttler fit for opening clash

England captain Jos Buttler has declared himself fit for the opening Twenty20 against Australia but Liam Livingstone’s ankle injury makes the allrounder doubtful for their World Cup opener later this month.

Buttler, recovering from a nagging calf injury, watched from the sidelines as England beat Pakistan 4-3 before flying into Australia, where they play three 20-overs matches against the world champions.

“I’m back to 100 per cent,” Buttler told reporters in Perth on Saturday.

“Had a good time in Pakistan rehabbing, probably could have played earlier, but with the World Cup around the corner, it was the right thing to do.”

Buttler’s return to the playing XI for Sunday’s contest at Optus Stadium means Alex Hales and Phil Salt would vie with each other for the second opener’s slot.

Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler is one of England’s most devastating weapons. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

“We have great options at the top of the order with guys in really good form in Pakistan,” Buttler said.

“They’re both excellent options. Whoever I partner with will have a great go at it.”

While England would welcome Buttler back into the squad, concern remains about white-ball star Livingstone’s availability for their October 22 World Cup opener against Afghanistan.

“(He) is still a little way off at the minute so he’s building back,” Buttler said.

“Hopefully he’ll get back to full fitness before the start of the World Cup.”

Buttler also said allrounder and Test captain Ben Stokes would bat higher in their lineup.

“Ben Stokes is someone we want to try to give as much opportunity to impact the game as possible,” Buttler added.

“Try to get him up the order as high as we can, give him as much responsibility as possible and allow him to play his way to get the best out of him.”

Windies batter cops four-year ban

West Indies bat John Campbell has been slapped with a four-year ban for violating doping rules, according to a Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission decision seen by Reuters.

Friday’s 18-page decision by a three-member independent panel followed a charge of evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection.

Campbell played 20 Tests, six ODIs and two T20 internationals for the West Indies, before JADCO accused him of refusing to provide a blood sample at his home in Kingston in April.

“The … panel is persuaded to a comfortable degree of satisfaction that the athlete committed an anti-doping rule violation, namely breach of JADCO rule 2.3. …,” the decision read in part.

“The panel does not find, on the evidence presented, that the athlete’s anti-doping violation was not intentional.

“In the circumstances of this case the athlete is ineligible for a period of 4 years,” it added, citing the applicable JADCO rule 10.3.1, with the ban backdated to start from notification of the violation on May 10 this year.

Handscomb hundred invigorates Vics

South Australia require 387 more runs to pull off an unlikely Sheffield Shield win after reaching 0-38 at stumps on day three against Victoria at Karen Rolton Oval.

Captain Peter Handscomb struck a wonderful 132 before declaring the visitors’ innings closed at 7-344 on Saturday, setting the Redbacks a victory target of 425.

Jake Weatherald, sent packing second ball of SA’s first innings, batted positively in the evening session, reaching 28 off 38 balls.

Opening partner Henry Hunt will resume on nine, the Redbacks surviving a testing 12-over spell with all 10 wickets in hand.

After earning a 90-run first-innings lead, Victoria’s assault on the home side’s attack in the second dig was underpinned by Handscomb’s 18th first-class ton.

The skipper crunched 14 fours and a six in his classy knock before holing out to a superb catch in the deep from Jake Lehmann while chasing quick runs.

Handscomb received tremendous middle-order support throughout the day from first-innings centurion Will Sutherland (40), wicketkeeper Sam Harper (37) and ex-Test batter Nic Maddinson (30), who plundered three huge sixes.

Seamer Jordan Buckingham (4-78), playing just his second Shield match, was the pick of the bowlers for the Redbacks.

Bulls run roughshod over Tigers

Tim Paine claimed five catches behind the stumps on his return to first-class cricket for Tasmania but three sensational individual displays by Queensland players inspired an innings win for their side in the Sheffield Shield season opener.

Bulls wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson (123) played an aggressive and classy hand to lift his side to 458 in reply to the Tigers’ first innings of 147 at Allan Border Field.

Tasmania’s openers were looking comfortable at 0-41 in reply when Bulls allrounder James Bazley threw himself to his left at square leg to snaffle a one-handed screamer to dismiss Caleb Jewell (29).

Bazley also claimed a scalp with his first ball of the innings and the wickets tumbled.

Bulls paceman Gurinder Sandhu (5-41) ripped through the Tigers who were bundled out for 139.

Queensland’s win by an innings and 172 runs inside three days was the perfect start to their season and the Tigers were never in the hunt.

Australian Test stars Marnus Labuschagne (127) and Usman Khawaja (72) made massive contributors to the Bulls’ win and struck early form ahead of the Test series against the West Indies and South Africa.

Paceman Riley Meredith (5-96) was the pick of the Tigers bowlers who fought back to take 6-101 on the third morning after the Bulls were 4-357 overnight.

Bazley’s timely catch was vital in the scheme of things as rain was forecast for the final day of the clash and the Bulls needed wickets.

Peirson’s innings knocked the stuffing out of the Tigers who were left with too much to do to save the game.

Paine was hardly noticed, as all good wicketkeepers are, but when a chance came his way the 37-year-old The former Test captain pounced to reveal he has lost none of his touch despite a lengthy absence from the game.