BIRMINGHAM: Australia head into the first Test at Edgbaston determined to complete “unfinished business” as they look to end their long record without a win at England’s ‘fortress’.
You have to go back to the 2001 Ashes for the last time Australia enjoyed a a victory of any kind at the Birmingham ground.
That winless streak across all formats at Warwickshire’s headquarters was extended to 15 matches when they lost to England in a World Cup semi-final earlier this month.
By contrast, England have won their last 11 internationals at the ground.
With England looking to regain the Ashes, and Australia not having won them on English soil in 19 years, Edgbaston appears to be the perfect venue for the series opener from the home side’s perspective.
But Australia’s Matthew Wade said the tourists would love nothing more than to make a little bit of history of their own at the venue.
“I feel like Edgbaston is unfinished business for a lot of us,” said Wade, who is hoping to make his first Test appearance in almost two years.
“A lot of us haven’t got good memories here, so we have to create some now. They’ve got a great record here but what’s happened before doesn’t really matter.
“I think this is the start of another chapter and we’re excited to get out there. Edgbaston is a hectic crowd, all the crowds are over here, but as long as we’re enjoying each other’s company out there then the other noise doesn’t really bother us.”
Wade made his name as a wicketkeeper but with the gloves now taken by Australia captain Tim Paine, a fellow Tasmanian, the 31-year-old is looking to relaunch his Test career as a specialist batsman.
“I basically started a whole different career playing solely as a batter,” said Wade, a veteran of 22 Tests.
“Being here is a reward for a lot of hard work over a two-year period. I’ve really enjoyed not keeping…there’s not that sickening feeling every time you walk out to keep in a session.
“I find it a lot easier to streamline my training. When you’re keeping in Test cricket you have to put a boatload of work into it.
“Over in England it’s as important as scoring runs.”