PERTH, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 15: Matthew Wade of Australia is struck by a delivery from Neil Wagner of New Zealand during day four of the First Test match in the series between Australia and New Zealand at Optus Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 15: Matthew Wade of Australia is struck by a delivery from Neil Wagner of New Zealand during day four of the First Test match in the series between Australia and New Zealand at Optus Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Warne unimpressed by ’Rocky’ Wade

Shane Warne has lashed bruised "Bodyline" warrior Matthew Wade for offering himself as a human shield in the first Test.

Wade wore countless short balls from New Zealand quick Neil Wagner to the chest, elbow, forearm and shoulder and he even dared the Kiwi to "keep coming, big boy".

But Wade's tactics staggered Warne as the No.5 batsman refused to protect himself or play a shot during the fiery spells.

Australian coach Justin Langer hailed the contest "like Rocky Balboa" but Warne said all Wade needed to do was smash one or two of the bouncers to the rope to put an end to the barrage.

 

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"I like that aggression and those (bowling) plans. I didn't like Matthew Wade not playing a shot. All he could do was get hurt," Warne told the Herald Sun.

"Wadey's got a bat in his hand. I'm all for the 'Over my dead body you're not getting me out' attitude … but the reason Matthew Wade has got a game in Test cricket is because he's been making so many runs and he's been very aggressive.

"He made two hundreds in the Ashes and was really good, but there's still a little bit of talk about is he the guy to bat at No.5? There's still a bit of talk around his spot.

"He gets my vote - if he's playing in an aggressive manner. I think that's why he got in there, because he was in such good form and he was hard to get out and he dominated the bowler.

"He let the bowler dictate terms to him. In that situation Australia was 400 ahead, I don't understand that tactical stuff from Australia."

 

Wagner gave the Aussies some thunderous deliveries. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Wagner gave the Aussies some thunderous deliveries. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

 

Warne said Wade - who made 12 and 17 - and his fellow batsmen should've targeted fast runs by swinging the bat while protecting their attack from New Zealand's nasty bowling.

"There will be a time in a Test match where you might have to play like that when you're behind in the game - not when you're 400 ahead," Warne said.

"I thought they missed an opportunity to say, 'If you're going to bowl like that then this is what you're going to cop'."

Speaking at Fox Cricket's Big Bash launch, Warne said the aggressive bowling tested the techniques of batsmen - "and some struggled" - but warned it wouldn't work on Boxing Day if the MCG rolls out another flat pitch.

He wants curator Matt Page to juice up the pitch so it favours bowlers and also backed Queensland legspinner Mitchell Swepson as a Test bolter who could partner Nathan Lyon in the SCG Test.

Warne also wants Cricket Australia to trial a day-night Boxing Day Test at the MCG and called for a new pink ball to be used from both ends to help keep them harder for longer.

"I'd like us to pick an attacking wrist spinning option, not a safe option with a finger spinner," Warne said.

"It's worth playing a leg-spinner and Swepson's the best of the leg-spinners we have."

Warne backed tearaway quick Riley Meredith, 23, to play for Australia in the next 12 months but said selecting Peter Siddle, 35, would be a backwards step.

"It's different if we're losing and we need that reliability of a Siddle. Yes, he can be a stop-gap player but you're 1-0 up against New Zealand and so it would be a step backwards, not forwards."



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