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Angry Wade further strengthens Australia

“It doesn’t take much to infuriate Wade,” said Adam Zampa, who made the most significant bowling contribution in Australia’s 36-run win over England in a T20 World Cup match in Barbados. Australia’s temperamental wicketkeeper-batsman did not play a key role in his side’s victory, scoring only 17* and making no dismissals behind the stumps, but he was so infuriated by the events on the field that he inspired his teammates to step up their game. While batting in the first innings, Wade was infuriated after stepping back from facing a delivery from Adil Rashid. He stopped the ball late after stepping aside and that was enough for umpire Nitin Menon not to declare the delivery a dead ball. After arguing with the umpires, Wade got involved in a heated exchange with England captain-keeper Jos Buttler. After the game, Travis Head said that Wade had heard music playing on loudspeakers when Rashid stepped forward to bowl. “I think he didn’t really intend [to face the ball] – the ball came behind him, he blocked it, Waddy just asked the question. Waddy obviously thought the ball went one way and Jos thought it went the other way.

But it doesn’t take much to fire Waddy.” Buttler gave his version of the exchange in the post-match press conference the England captain said. “And to be honest, I was thinking about a lot of other things at the time. Should I have said, ‘I don’t know if he pulled the ball back or not and let’s just move on’? But the umpire said, ‘Well, because he played it, it’s a dot ball.’

The incident unleashed a fury inside Wade, as Australia were trying to defend their highest ever score at a T20 World Cup. Buttler and his opening partner Phil Salt put on 73 in the first seven overs before Wade brought Zampa into action and the legspinner dismissed both set batsmen to pave the way for Australia’s eventually comfortable win.

“Waddy is a fiery guy, super competitive – and today there was something that rattled him a bit and that’s what we like about Waddy,” Zampa said. We can’t wait for them to make a mistake because they’re not going to.’ It’s basically about staying in the contest. If you have a calm wicketkeeper, whose body language is opposite to someone like Weedy, you can feel it as well.” In contrast, Zampa reckoned the reigning T20 champions were under pressure from the start and it showed in their body language. Jos Buttler’s match-up-informed decision to bowl two offspinners – Moeen Ali and Will Jacks – in the powerplay backfired as Australia openers Head and David Warner conceded 74 runs in the powerplay. “Heady and Davey took advantage of that. We try not to do that. We speak a bit about that. Our leadership is not like that. It’s ‘Kamo’ (Cummins, Test and ODI captain), ‘Bison’ (Marsh) who are very calm.