Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey’s whirlwind fifty went in vain as the defending World Cup champions slumped to a 36-run loss to India in their third match at the Oval on Sunday. Carey equaled his highest ODI score of 55 not out as Australia were bowled out for 316 chasing 353 to win.
Carey came in to bat at No.7 facing an improbable situation with Australia needing 115 runs to win from 10 overs but insisted that the team management didn’t discuss promoting him or Glenn Maxwell up the order.
“We still backed the players out in the middle to get us there. If they’ve faced a few balls they have a better understanding of the situation. The deeper we take it, we trust our batters to soak up a few balls. They’ve done it in the past,” Carey told the media in the ICC mixed zone after the game against India on Sunday.
“There are so many options but we trust the batters we have. We had a good shake at it but we were just chasing a few too many runs in the end,” the South Australian said.
Carey took confidence from his fine knock at the Oval although he couldn’t lift his side to a win. “There was a job to do to go at 12 runs an over for the best part of 10 or 15 overs. It was more the state of the game that dictated the way I played.
“With guys like Maxwell and (Nathan) Coulter-Nile we still back ourselves to go out and do that. We lost a few wickets against a really good attack. (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Bhuvneshwar) Kumar are really good finishers and unfortunately we fell short and didn’t have that set batter like India did,” Carey said.
The wicketkeeper paid tribute to Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan’s 117 for setting up the win for his team.
“Shikhar (Dhawan) played really well and the stats say if you get 120 you will win most games. It would have been nice to have one of our players in the top five who had 40 or 50 to go on make a big score and win the game for us,” he said.
Carey, who dropped a costly catch in India’s innings when he spilled the explosive Hardik Pandya (48 off 27 balls) first ball, was impressed by the special atmosphere created at The Oval by the vast and vociferous support for the Indian team.
“It’s always brilliant playing against India. I’ve played them in Australia, in India and now, here. Every time I’ve loved the atmosphere – they’re very colourful, there’s lots of noise. It’s always good to play against India,” Carey said.