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ICC World Cup 2019 | Waugh and Warne Back Carey for Ashes Berth

Defending champions Australia failed to book a place in the ICC World Cup final after a comprehensive eight-wicket loss to hosts England in the semifinals on Thursday (July 11). There were some bright spots in their campaign and one of them was the performance of wicketkeeper batsman Alex Carey.

Cricketnext Staff |July 12, 2019, 2:38 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Waugh and Warne Back Carey for Ashes Berth

Defending champions Australia failed to book a place in the ICC World Cup final after a comprehensive eight-wicket loss to hosts England in the semifinals on Thursday (July 11). There were some bright spots in their campaign and one of them was the performance of wicketkeeper batsman Alex Carey.

Carey, playing in his first World Cup, notched up 375 runs in 10 games at an average of 62.5 and a strike-rate of 104.16. For long, he has been dubbed as the successor to Test captain Tim Paine behind the stumps and a couple of Australian legends — Steve Waugh and Shane Warne — believe Carey could be fast-tracked into the Ashes squad on the basis of his performances.

After being struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the semifinal, Carey bravely batted on with a bandage all around his face to score 46 off 70 balls and put on 103 runs for the fourth wicket with former captain Steve Smith.

Asked if Carey could feature as batsman in the Test side, Waugh, who will mentor his former team during the Ashes, told the BBC: “He definitely could."

“He reminds so much of Michael Hussey," the former Australian skipper continued. “It looks like he's got every facet of his game under control.

"I think he's definitely in the frame to be picked purely as a batsman. I'm not a selector, but he's definitely good enough,” Waugh added.

Joining Waugh in praise of Carey was former Australian leg-spinner Warne, who said during the television broadcast: "The way he's played through this tournament he might be a chance to play as a batsman in the Ashes."

Carey has batted mostly at No.7 in his 29-game ODI career but would have to bat higher than that to be considered a legitimate batting prospect at Test level.

He regularly bats at seven for the Redbacks as well, but his promotion for the game against England was a sign of the major strides he has made.

"It was not the situation I would have liked to have come in at (with Australia 3-14 in the seventh over)," Carey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"It was obviously good to get an opportunity and I was disappointed not to go a bit further with 'Smudge' (Smith). He is batting quite well and it was quite tough at times out there, so we tried to absorb most of that pressure that was delivered up front and just build something back and get something on the board,” the Australian wicketkeeper batsman added.

Carey will remain in the United Kingdom and has a domestic T20 stint with Sussex lined up, but is hopeful of featuring in the Australia vs Australia A game in Southampton later this month.

The match is set to have major bearing on Ashes selection, with Carey in line to be named as Paine's wicketkeeping understudy.

"I'm hoping to play in that 22 and then obviously it is an interesting selection point," Carey said. "I guess for me if I am selected in that game, we shift to the red ball and see what happens.

"(I've) been about worrying about the white ball for now and playing this World Cup. We would have liked to have progressed to the next stage, but (we) haven't.

"I guess you can't think too far ahead now, but there is a week off before that game so hopefully I am a part of that and I get a chance, hopefully play well and put my hand up if required,” he added.

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