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Hartley backs Nevill as Test 'keeper

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016 Laine Clark

Thirteen years after his first class debut, Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley says there is never a better chance to break into the Test team.

Still, the veteran gloveman reckons incumbent Australian 'keeper Peter Nevill hasn't done much wrong ahead of next week's day-night third Test against South Africa in Adelaide.

The closest Hartley appeared to get to a baggy green was way back in 2009 when he stood in for an Ashes tour match.

Now 34, Hartley still dares to dream.

The gritty left-hander provided yet another reminder to selectors with an unbeaten 72 to help Queensland take a stranglehold of their Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia at the Gabba on Friday.

At stumps on day two, South Australia were 9-222 in reply to Queensland's 7-475.

Victoria's Matthew Wade is considered a Test threat to Nevill before the third Test team is decided on Sunday night.

But Hartley said he wouldn't die wondering.

Especially with Nevill yet to score a ton in 17 Tests and a batting average of 22.

"The role of the 'keeper has shifted. Batting is a significant part," Hartley said.

"Nevill would be the first to say he hasn't got the runs he would have liked, particularly for the quality player that he is.

"Nevill is out of form which does present an opportunity.

"This is just another chance to keep putting your name forward - I guess everyone will find out next week."

Yet Hartley remained adamant that Nevill had been unfairly criticised for his display against South Africa behind the stumps.

Nevill came under fire for a missed stumping in Australia's second Test humbling at Hobart.

He fluffed a chance with Proteas opposite number Quinton de Kock on 72 not out.

The South African went on to plunder 104 as the visitors ran away with the game.

"I was a bit surprised people were questioning his keeping," Hartley said.

"He missed what I thought was a tough stumping chance but all of a sudden his keeping is under question.

"I think he has been very tidy.

"But that's the harshness of the spotlight on the national team - you have to be on your game week in, week out."

Hartley may have never given up on his baggy green dream but the veteran reckoned few deserved to be dropped from the Test team ahead of the pink ball Adelaide clash.

"I know the Aussies haven't been playing their best cricket," he said.

"But I still think the XI they had, there are not too many better players in Australia.

"They are under the pump but they are high quality players."

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