Alex Carey will have to wait for a Test call-up. Picture: Getty Images
Alex Carey will have to wait for a Test call-up. Picture: Getty Images

Carey playing long game by focusing on short form role

Alex Carey's failed AFL career taught him to take nothing for granted, with the wicketkeeper refusing to believe that he is certain to succeed Test captain Tim Paine.

Australia's white-ball keeper - who wants to emulate the great MS Dhoni as a specialist finisher - will need to bide his time after coach Justin Langer declared that Paine will lead the Aussies in the 2021 World Test Championship at Lord's, should they qualify.

That means that unless Carey can usurp a top-six batsman and play alongside Paine, the South Australian will have to wait until he's in his 30s to receive a Baggy Green.

 

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"I'm not too fazed by the external pressure of when and if (it happens)," Carey said.

"I don't look too far ahead. From my previous experiences with football you know things can change pretty quickly.

"When Australian cricket teams are winning it's hard to change. For me it's about doing my absolute best (in India) in the one-day team and hopefully be a part of (this year's) T20 World Cup."

Carey captained GWS Giants in the 2010 TAC Cup but inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy delisted him on the eve of the club's entry to the AFL in 2012.

Carey's World Cup was so impressive last year that he was promoted to No.5 for the semi-final, ahead of struggling all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.

But the Adelaide Strikers captain has dropped himself from opener down to No.4 this season to align his Big Bash and international roles.

"I will probably bat middle to lower order for Australia so it's trying to finish games off. I see myself coming in from No.5 to No.7," Carey said.

 

"When you look at the best in the world like MS Dhoni, you want to learn as much as you can from him.

"I was lucky enough to play against him last year and just the way he took the game deep and won games for India. I aspire to do that."

The crafty batsman flew to India for this week's ODI series averaging 38 at a strike-rate of 122 in his new role for Strikers.

Carey did not get a bat in Australia's T20 demolition of Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer, making his last innings for Australia that gutsy 46 (70) with a cut chin in last year's World Cup semi-final.

The Aussies converted a 0-2 start in India into a 3-2 ODI series win last year and Carey said the challenge was to now secure back-to-back series victories in front of Virat Kohli's home crowd.

The last country to do that was Australia in 2007 and 2009, back when the top orders were Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Brad Hodge and Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey respectively.

Legend Sachin Tendulkar played in both of those Indian teams.

Australia's epic series win last year didn't feature Steve Smith, David Warner or Josh Hazlewood, who are all in Mumbai and poised to play on Tuesday night.

Interim coach Andrew McDonald is certain to play three quicks with Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins favoured to make the XI over Kane Richardson.



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