posted on 2019-07-10 12:55:00
posted by Michael Harrison
Since he first shot to fame in the domestic circuit, Alex Carey had been marked as one for the future. Crisp in his strokeplay, what stood was his ability to hit the gaps and unsettle bowlers with unconventional hits. However, most of this came at the top of the order, especially in the BBL and he had never batted in the lower middle order.
With the top four spots jam-packed in the Australian line-up, Carey had to adjust with whatever spot he got. And adjust he did, and how! His batting at the back end of the 2019 World Cup has been nothing shot of exceptional. Carey isn't your traditional power-hitter who bludgeons the ball to different parts of the ground, instead he relies a lot on finesse.
Not only has the southpaw done the job at the back end of the innings but has also chipped in with two crucial knocks when Australia had lost half their side rather early in the game, against West Indies and New Zealand. Only Kumar Sangakkara (2011 and 2015) and Brendan Taylor (2015) have better performances for wicket-keeper batsmen in a single edition of the World Cup.
With someone in such unstoppable form at number seven, Australia's batsmen at the top can afford to breath easy and also play a far more expressive brand of cricket. With Usman Khawaja ruled out, the XI does have a left-hander short, especially if Matthew Wade isn't picked and that could even mean a promotion for Carey who certainly deserves to bat at five.
While there are a number of impact players in the top four for Australia, England will know that Carey will be a vital scalp considering the impact he can make, especially towards the slog overs of the innings. Edgbaston is generally not a flat surface and that could mean the need for a collective batting effort, in which case Carey's role becomes significant.