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The Ashes

Carey waits for his chance to shine in Test format

From a footballer to a stout-hearted cricketer, Alex Carey is knocking on the door of selectors after impressing with his solid temperament in the World Cup. He is in a smashing form after batting at an outstanding average of 62, thumping three half-centuries in the competition and complementing it with superb glovework.

Alex showed the virtue of courage and bravery during the crunch situation in the semi-final by taking on Jofra Archer's short-ball bombardment and, in the process, received a ghastly hit on his helmet. He looked in awful shape afterwards and got bandaged on the jaw but still didn't capitulate to probing bowling and piled up vital 46 runs off 70 balls.

Playing under pressure is a coveted trait in international cricket and he surely seems to possess oodles of this quality. Steve Waugh, appointed recently as Australia's mentor, took note of his talent and compared him with the likes of Michael Hussey. Upon hearing Australian legend's comment, an overwhelmed Carey responded to Steve's praise, "If I'm half as good as him, I'll be happy, he's an incredible player,"

Carrey's calmness and level-headedness could come in handy in the upcoming Ashes battle. He stepped up to the occasion against the West Indies when his teammates were falling like a house of cards and initiated a major rebuilding work alongside Steve Smith, getting Australia out from a miserable situation to post a par score of 288 that proved enough to edge out the Windies. Moreover, he has the ability to shift gears and push the accelerator, proved by his bright and breezy innings of 55 runs from 35 deliveries against the menacing Indian bowling attack.

However, he will have to wait for his turn in Test cricket because Tim Paine, Australia's 46th Test captain, will definitely play and Mathew Wade has also amassed a whopping 1,021 runs in the Sheffield Shield last year. Therefore, a remote possibility exists for him as injuries to the first two choices or an inspired selection might pave way for him to break into the side.

While reflecting on his maiden World Cup experience, he said, “I guess different circumstances throughout the World Cup were really good learning experiences for me.”

Carey was in contention for 2017/18 Ashes but got replaced by the more seasoned Tim Paine at the last moment. The ostentatious southpaw saw his fortunes swing quickly after scoring consistently in the Big Bash League - scoring a ton against Hobart Hurricanes and helping Adelaide Strikers clinch the title in 2017/18 season scoring at an average of 49. He was always in the selector's radar and it became inevitable to keep him out of the team after he amassed 594 runs for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield 2016/2017 season, coupled with a record 59 dismissals in one season to press his case forward as a wicketkeeper-batsman.