Australia look at Clarke as ODI opener
Greg Buckle
06:13 AEST Mon Aug 27 2012

Acting head coach Steve Rixon is concerned about Matthew Wade's workload as wicketkeeper and top-order batsman in heatwave conditions in Australia's upcoming one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan.

Wade and skipper Michael Clarke, having promoted himself from No.4 to No.3, top scored last weekend with scores of 75 each in Australia's 8-272 in their ODI clash with Afghanistan at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Australia's quicks bowled the minnow team out for 206.

Former Test gloveman Rixon is keen to avoid burnout for the 170cm Wade, who regularly had cold water poured over his head during drinks breaks as part of his two-hour batting stint in temperatures in the mid-30s with high humidity.

Australia's three-match series against Pakistan begins on Tuesday in Sharjah, with play again to start at 6pm (2400 AEST) in a bid to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Pakistan will also host Australia for a three-match Twenty20 series in the UAE.

"Matthew Wade is probably the biggest concern," Rixon said on Sunday.

"He has a dual role to play. If he has to field first, and then go out and do the batting, he's going to look a lot more tired doing it that way than the way he did it last night.

"He's a guy we will have to manage well and his position in the batting may have a bearing on that."

Wade's 75 was his highest score and his fourth half-century in 22 matches, underlining the 24-year-old's potential as an allrounder.

The Victorian batsman was huddled over and exhausted at various stages while batting and his dismissal was a relief in one sense, returning to take three catches in Afghanistan's innings.

"That's something we're going to have to continue to manage, especially if you bowl first, to see how he pulls up after that," Clarke said.

"We have a couple of options in regards to opening the batting if it is really hot fielding first and we think it's not appropriate for Matthew to open the batting."

Rixon nominated Clarke, George Bailey and Mike Hussey as potential openers.

"Probably a really positive option would be Mike Hussey who has opened with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League," said Rixon, who has coached Hussey at Chennai.

Hussey hit 49 from 37 balls against Afghanistan.

Panthers win NYC, Jets the state champions
Most popular articles
Spotted....Professional surfer
strikes in fashion
Wide World of Sports TV partners
AFL Footy ShowAustralia's favourite team takes you through the week in AFL.Footy ClassifiedOur award winning panel tell it how it really is in the AFL world.NRL Footy ShowFatty and the gang bring you an entertaining look at rugby league.Wide World of SportsCatch up with Ken Sutcliffe and the team on Wide World of Sports.