Colourblind wicketkeeper Matthew Wade says he still has trouble seeing the pink ball as he prepares for his first Test in more than three years.
Dumped stumper Peter Nevill is widely viewed as the superior technician of the pair but Wade's gift of the gab, or some might say gift of the gob, along with his batting played a key part in his recall. Wade's promotion was the most controversial of the six Test call-ups due to the queries over his glove work.
The Victorian was told to lift his keeping after the terrible tour of India in 2013 and has satisfied national selectors that it's now up to scratch.
Wade faces an extra hurdle this week in Adelaide – picking up the pink ball under lights due to his colour blindness. Advances to the pink Kookaburra, mainly an all black seam, have players more comfortable with its visibility but issues remain.
The toughest time for all players will be at twilight as the artificial light takes effect.
"It can't be an issue, I've got to work it out," Wade, who made 78 and 26 the last time he played a pink ball game, said. "You've just got to get used to it. 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. I've got more used to it I suppose. The more you play, you get more used to it."
It's doubtful even if Wade himself believes he is the best wicketkeeper in the country but that is now irrelevant, he said.
"I've been picked to do a job. I'll go out and do it," Wade said. "I feel like my keeping has come along from two years ago. There's no doubt when I played Test cricket last time my wicket-keeping was not where it needed to be so I've worked hard on it and improvements have come, so I feel confident in my game that I can make a contribution in the team."
A big part of that job will be to use his voice to lift morale in the field and take the challenge up to the Proteas batsmen.
"I don't go into any game looking to really get into anyone's head. I just go out and play the way that I play. I'm competitive. I like the contest," Wade said. "If an opportunity comes where I feel like I can contribute in that way to get benefit for the team then I will. I certainly don't go out looking to target people, it just develops out on the ground."
With two centuries next to his name, Wade has been picked to add starch to a middle order that has too readily disintegrated in Australia's five-Test losing streak.
"I enjoy that part of the game. I enjoy the scrap. I enjoy getting out there when our backs are to the wall," Wade said. "Hopefully, that doesn't come in this Test, but if it does I'm looking forward to getting out there and having a scrap."
Meanwhile, Nevill received support from NSW coach Trent Johnston, who described his omission as "terribly unlucky".
"I think without a shadow of a doubt he's the best gloveman in the country," Johnston said. "He's a fighter. I spoke to him yesterday and spoke to him this morning and he was hurting but he's pumped up to do well for NSW. That's what he's got to do to get his spot back."
Nevill is unlikely to get another look until next year's tour of India.
"For me he's got to be the No.1 'keeper picked there," Johnston said. "They've shown their hand in previous trips to India, like the World T20 this year, that they take the better gloveman."
with Chris Barrett
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