After an impressive performance behind the stumps on test debut at the Gabba, Alex Carey is excited by the prospect of a home test match.
The Aussies finished the first Test match on day four at the Gabba and will now prepare themselves for the second Test, a day-nighter in Adelaide. Carey said he’s looking forward to getting home and playing in front of his family.
“I’m really excited to head to Adelaide, we all know what a pink ball test means it’s a really good atmosphere in Adelaide,” Carey said after Australia went 1-0 up in the Ashes with a crushing nine-wicket defeat of England.
“I haven’t played one [before] but growing up watching games there and to have my family there is going to be very exciting.
“Winning this test puts us in a good place to hopefully start really well on Thursday.”
In a test match full of twists and turns, Carey’s debut was full of excitement as the Australians rolled the English for 147 on day one, he then saw South Australia Redbacks’ teammate Travis Head play an amazing knock of 152.
“I was very excited to debut for Australia and to see the guys go about their business behind the stumps was fantastic [on] day one then to back it up Travis Head’s hundred was amazing, I think we all enjoyed that,” he said.
“[It was] a tough afternoon yesterday with some good players at the crease then to bounce back, take early wickets today and open the game up was fantastic to see.”
The 30-year-old created history at the Gabba, breaking the record for most catches taken by a wicket-keeper on Test debut, finishing with eight catches.
Coming into his first-ever Test match, Carey said there were some nerves when he was behind the stumps, but admitted: “it was great fun”.
“I reckon Starcy [Mitchell Starc] bowled the first over of the game and I didn’t catch a ball which I was hoping to get one in the gloves early and then Hoff [Josh Hazlewood] came on at the other end. I have kept a little to those guys in white-ball cricket [before],” he said.
“It did take me [a few overs] to get into the rhythm [but] then we’re playing cricket again.”
Carey believed all the Australian bowlers bowled beautifully, he was particularly impressed with Nathan Lyon’s performance.
“I’ve kept a little too Gaz [Nathan Lyon], white-ball cricket’s a bit different and there’s a lot happening in front of you. He bowled beautifully [in] that first inning then to come out again today and yesterday was fantastic,” he said.
“I’ll continue to work hard with Gaz, I know how good of a player he is, he gets bounce, he gets drift and he gets the ball to spin, he was spinning it on day one. Myself, Marnus [Labuschagne] [and] Smithy [Steve Smith] were all in the game when he is bowling so I’ll continue to work hard.
“As a wicketkeeper you’re only going to get judged on catches taken or catches dropped so I’ll keep moving forward, I’ll keep trying to improve my game to Gaz and the quicks. There was great bounce and carry here at the Gabba.
“We [now] move to Adelaide where the ball should move around a little bit, potentially a little bit slower with that pink ball.”
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In Australia’s first batting innings, Carey came out to the crease in a pivotal moment in the match with England slowly coming back into the match, facing a hat trick ball from Ollie Robinson. Alongside state teammate Travis Head, the pair fought back, helping Australia swing the momentum back their way.
“It was [about going] out there and working through the things that work for me and coming in on a hat trick wasn’t ideal but again the way he [Travis Head] played, we absorbed a bit of that momentum and then he took that right back.
The wicketkeeper praised Head’s career-defining innings.
“When I got out, we put on 40 [runs] and he kept going, he kept backing his ability, I guess there was a little bit of chatter about the way that Travis plays but I think we’ve all seen when he gets away it’s unstoppable, so you ride the highs, and you ride the lows,” he said.
“I’ve seen it at Shield cricket now for a number of years that he’ll make an amazing 30 or he might get out, he’ll make an amazing 150. He’s a match-winner.”
Carey believes if Head continues to play innings as he did at the Gabba, in the next 12-18 months Head could be one of the best players in the world.
“I think for Trav, it’s not worrying about the external noise, he’ll make an amazing 20-30 [runs] and he might nick one or he might go on and make 150, he’ll continue to play the way that he plays his best, that’s with intent, that’s being really positive if there’s a ball to hit, he hits it, he scores really quickly,” he said.
“We’ll move to Adelaide so he’s excited to get home and put on a good performance in his home crowd and in a pink ball [test match], if we see innings like that over the next 12-18 months then he’s going to one of the best players in the world.”
“He’s really confident… he’s playing beautifully and he’s maturing as a person and as a player and the exciting thing is he’s [only] 27 years of age.”
With David Warner injured, Carey went out and opened the batting with Marcus Harris in the second innings. He said he’ll ‘play any role for this team’.
“Look Davey [David Warner] obviously didn’t field that fielding innings and why disrupt batter number three, four, and five. I felt confident to go out there and do the job,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I nicked one but we won the test match so I’m pretty happy.”
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