Coming off his maiden century for Australia in the Boxing Day test, Adelaide Strikers wicket-keeper batter Alex Carey hopes his international test form will carry through to his Big Bash form this season.
Joining the Strikers squad after a week off, both Alex Carey and captain Travis Head will suit up in blue for the match against the Brisbane Heat on Saturday afternoon.
Fronting the media, Carey spoke about the return to the Big Bash and how the team plans to atone for a poor performance against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday night which saw them lose by nine wickets.
“It feels great [to return to the Strikers], I know personally and I mean Trav has as well, spoken a lot about returning to the Strikers and to have the blue back on is really exciting,” Carey said.
“Obviously [it] not the result we wanted [on Thursday night] but a great opportunity here on [Saturday] afternoon. I guess T20 cricket is one of those games where if you are slightly off, any team can win and the Stars have now got on a bit of a roll so Trav and I are really keen to hopefully help the team have a strong performance.
“We know that finals aren’t too far away, we are sitting in a decent position with ten points but we probably need to win at least two out of these next four, probably three so we are keen to get back out there and hopefully put out a good performance.”
Making the jump from test cricket with the more tactical game with slower batting rate, to the fast-paced and explosive nature of the T20 game, Carey explains the shift needed in mindset and how easy it is to shift gears.
“I don’t think [it’s hard to adjust], it’s probably more mentally,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve got a few new guys in the team [so] we will find out our roles but I think coming back into T20 cricket is always great fun, you’ve still gotta play with some smarts and as we’ve seen over the last few games that if we are slightly off [it can cost you].
“We’ve got [to play] a Brisbane Heat team that are full stacked [Saturday] night so we are keen to put a good performance out there but I think the shift from test cricket to T20 cricket is probably easier than the other way.
“I think Trav’s strike rate in test cricket is pretty good, so if he keeps that at Big Bash, we will be alright. It’s been a good summer for us but a couple of days off and we are back hitting some white balls around which is going to be great.”
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Considering the form of opening batter Matt Short and new recruit Chris Lynn, both Carey and Head will be looking to slot into the top four on Saturday. Given the dominance of Lynn, it will be a decision at selection as to whether the captain is given the chance at first drop or whether current exposed form is considered.
“We haven’t spoken about [the batting order] actually,” Carey admitted.
“Obviously our top order is flying, you’ve got Lynny at three who’s playing unbelievably, I think it’s his last game [and] Shorty’s smashing them at the top so might have a little bat off in the nets to see who opens.”
Featuring on Saturday afternoon against the Strikers will be Australian test players Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Renshaw.
As well as the Scorchers having added Lance Morris, the Sixers adding Steve Smith and the Thunder bringing David Warner back from hiatus, the Big Bash will see international talent play before the series against India in February.
Carey speaks about what this talent will bring to the league and how the strength of the competition has been on show this season.
“We are playing against a couple [of test players on Saturday] night, so teammates a couple of days ago and enemies tomorrow,” Carey said.
“It’s always a great rivalry to come up against your mates on the field but [it’s a] great boost for the Big Bash, I think the standard this year without the test players has been fantastic. We’ve seen some pretty amazing cricket from chasing 220 plus to bowling a team out for 15 [runs].
“It’s blown me away sitting back just watching how good the competition is, so we will have to prepare well today, we are obviously up against some serious players so keen to get out there.”
The Adelaide Strikers face the Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon in a star-studded match for both sides.
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