Nevill’s resurrection complete in labour of glove
PETER Nevill is set to reclaim his place as Test wicketkeeper, armed with a mandate to be Steve Smith’s eyes and ears this Ashes series.
Unless there is a dramatic twist in the first innings of the Sheffield Shield round starting tomorrow, Nevill looks poised to cap an extraordinary rollercoaster ride and return to the post he was so controversially axed from 12 months ago.
Australia do not expect Nevill to completely change his personality and suddenly be a loud voice in the field.
However, they are demanding more presence from the 32year-old gloveman, something Nevill has already started finetuning for NSW.
Test spinner Nathan Lyon had a good bond with incumbent ‘keeper Matthew Wade but admits no one knows his game as intimately as Nevill.
Lyon said a stint as NSW captain during the recent domestic one-day competition had given Nevill the ideal platform to launch his reworked presence behind the stumps, should he get a Test call-up this week.
But Wade and Alex Carey would need to do something special to rob Nevill now.
“I’ve always felt Nev has been a good driver for any side I’ve ever played in,” Lyon said yesterday. “I actually find Nev controls the energy really well.
“He’s probably not as vocal as Wadey and he doesn’t say as much up to the stump mic as Wadey does, but that’s the way Wadey gets into a fight and I’ve got no dramas with that. I think the way Nev controls his teammates and gets his bowlers going around … everyone loves playing under Pete and everyone has so much respect for him.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Nev … the way he’s controlled the energy over the last couple of Shield games has been pretty impressive.”
RYAN Harris says England are there for the taking, with “rusty” opener Alastair Cook and a soft batting underbelly arming Australian coach Dar- ren Lehmann with the “ammo” for Ashes retribution.
England rolled the Cricket Australia XI by 192 runs in their pink-ball warm up in Adelaide yesterday but not before their batting was exposed by Tasmanian allrounder Simon Milenko (5-34) and a collection of unheralded rookies.
Asked if England were vulnerable entering the Ashes opener in Brisbane, CA XI coach Harris said: “I think it is, especially if Stokes isn’t at No.6 or No.7, but it depends on how the boys bowl to them.”