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Nevill still on national selectors' radar

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016 Rob Forsaith

The wicketkeeper is often one of the first picked in a Test XI but in Australia's case, deciding between Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill remains a tight call.

Nevill produced an unbeaten knock of 60 in Perth last month, when Australia may have salvaged a draw from that first-Test trainwreck if other batsmen matched the keeper's composure.

Nevill managed a total of nine runs from the ensuing loss, Australia's fifth straight Test defeat, and was duly dumped.

Selectors recalled Wade for the day-night Test against South Africa, wanting a more combative presence at the crease and behind the stumps.

Wade has since tallied 12 runs from three innings for the Test side. Nevill returned to Sheffield Shield action, with an unbeaten knock of 179 for NSW the highlight.

Wade was retained for the second Test against Pakistan but the issue is far from settled, especially with a four-Test tour of India starting in February.

Wade's glovework, scrutinised throughout his 14-Test career, would be put to the ultimate test if he is picked for the subcontinent series.

"His keeping this game (the first Test against Pakistan) - he'd like to keep better obviously," coach Darren Lehmann said.

"He's improved his keeping out of sight in the last 12-18 months from where we were.

"Peter Nevill is obviously a very good keeper as well, it's a tight call whichever way you go.

"He (Wade) hasn't got any runs at the moment. He's been working pretty hard with that.

"But Matthew's got the chance to nail down the spot and we'll see how he goes obviously in Melbourne."

The stumpers, who are both on the books of Big Bash League franchise Melbourne Renegades, have long been locked in an intriguing selection showdown.

Nevill, who was picked ahead of Wade for this year's World Twenty20, was frank when asked about his Test omission earlier this month.

"It's pretty simple. I got dropped because I wasn't making enough runs," Nevill said.

"I certainly can't say I deserve to be in the Australian team because I think my performances haven't been good enough."

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