Cricket - Clarke vows to give Wade more overs

Australia Test captain Michael Clarke has defended his decision to bowl wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

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Cricket - Clarke vows to give Wade more overs
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Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade bowled the final over before tea on day five against Sri Lanka

Wade became the first Australia wicketkeeper since Rod Marsh in 1983 to bowl in a Test match when he was tossed the ball for the final over before tea on the fifth day of a match Australia won in the final 10 overs.

In his column for News Limited on Friday, Clarke defended his decision and said it could be the start of something regular for Wade. "We're going to see more of Matthew Wade bowling in Test cricket, that's for sure," he wrote.

Given Australia still needed six wickets for victory at that point, Clarke's decision to allow Wade to ditch the pads and bowl - just 10 overs after the new ball was taken - raised a few eyebrows.

However, Clarke added: "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. And he bowled with good pace. There are some opening bowlers around the world who struggle to reach the 132kmph (82mph) Matt generated.

"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 spoke on Thursday about his rare chance to bowl, saying it was "good fun" but that he felt it was more an experiment by Clarke.

"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," Wade said. "Let's be honest, I haven't seen that happen too often, in a Test match especially. I think (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni's about the only other bloke that's really had a bowl."

Clarke was slightly hamstrung in terms of his options in the second innings after Ben Hilfenhaus broke down earlier in the match. He said he would continue to try whatever it took to get the wickets needed.

"It reinforces my belief since I've been captain that it doesn't matter how we get 20 wickets or who takes them to win the Test," he said. "If Matt gets some of those or Mike Hussey or Dave Warner then great."

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