Understudy Nevill happy with Aussie call

He’s still biding his time in the shadow of mate Brad Haddin but back-up Australian wicketkeeper Peter Nevill wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than the Caribbean right now.

The 29-year-old is part of an Australian touring squad in the West Indies for the second time in his career.

Just as in 2012, when Nevill was rushed over to the Caribbean after Haddin had to leave for personal reasons, the NSW gloveman is almost certain to sit out both Tests against the Windies.

Three years ago it was Victoria’s Matthew Wade who would make his Test debut as Nevill ran drinks on the boundary.

But the call to go on tour in the Caribbean and the subsequent Ashes campaign is a significant sign Nevill is the frontrunner to become Australia’s next wicketkeeper.

Haddin, 37, announced his one-day international retirement before departing Australia and many are tipping he’ll call time on his Test career at the end of the upcoming Ashes series.

Nevill appears to have moved past Wade and other rivals such as youngsters Sam Whiteman and Ryan Carters after a domestic summer in which he scored 764 Sheffield Shield runs and snared 29 catches.

He said getting the nod for the two tours is still a thrill despite his back-up status.

“I wasn’t expecting to get the call,” he said.

“I was obviously jubilant. A very happy man when I got the call from Rod Marsh.

“It’s great to be part of the whole experience. I need to prepare to play. Should Brad Haddin get injured, I’m playing. So that’s forefront in my mind.”

Nevill will at least have some game time in the Caribbean, playing alongside Haddin in Australia’s three-day tour match in Antigua starting on Wednesday.

While Haddin will don the gloves for the match, Nevill says he’s again happy to play the role needed within the team.

“I’m happy to be playing. I’ve done this before at Shield level, been in the field and Brad keeping,” he said.

“I’m going to try and do my best for the team, make some runs with the bat and hopefully not get filled in at short leg.”

After the two Tests against the Windies, Australia head to England for a full Ashes series where Nevill is a good chance to get some time behind the wickets.

He says preparing to play without any firm indication you’ll actually get the chance is the life of a wicketkeeper and one he’s become accustomed to.

“I’ve made sure throughout my whole career that I wasn’t concerning myself with the ifs,” he said.

“I’ve been able to maintain my focus on what’s directly in front of me the whole of the last Shield season and that’s stood me in good stead and eventually got picked for this (tour).”

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