Quiet achiever Carey in fine touch with the bat

Mercury (Hobart) - - SOCCER - SAM LANDS­BERGER

ALEX Carey has al­ready jus­ti­fied the faith of selectors with two con­trast­ing in­nings that un­der­line why one of Aus­tralia’s World Cup ba­bies is also its vice-cap­tain.

The quiet achiever has been tasked with ex­tin­guish­ing wildly dif­fer­ent fires with his bat — en­ter­ing at 5-79 af­ter 16 overs against West Indies, and with 115 runs needed off 60 balls against In­dia — and Carey adapted bril­liantly to both sit­u­a­tions.

Bat­ting at No.7, Carey crawled to three off 26 balls against West Indies and then thumped Aus­tralia’s fastest World Cup half-cen­tury (25 balls) against In­dia to up­stage his su­per­star team­mates’ match aware­ness.

The wick­et­keeper took 15 balls to get off the mark against the Windies as he and Steve Smith sur­vived the fiery fast bowl­ing the top or­der failed against.

By see­ing out the quicks at their most dan­ger­ous, Carey, Smith and then Nathan Coul­ter-Nile were able to pun­ish the lesser lights as they helped build the platform for an un­likely vic­tory at Trent Bridge.

Carey ham­mered five bound­aries in nine balls af­ter his cau­tious start, peel­ing off a se­lec­tion of flu­ent cut shots and cover drives.

“He just knew that’s the way he had to play in that sit­u­a­tion,” as­sis­tant coach Ricky Ponting said of Carey’s 45 (54).

“He got through some hos­tile bowl­ing know­ing they were go­ing to have to go to their spin­ner at some stage and [Car­los] Brath­waite was go­ing to have to bowl at some stage and Ja­son Holder was go­ing to have to bowl a lot of overs as well. He summed it up re­ally well and a lot of the top or­der can learn from the way he played to­day.”

Carey con­tin­ued his bound­ary hunt from ball one against In­dia, dis­play­ing ag­gres­sion that some had ques­tioned.

Carey’s un­beaten 55 (35) was his best white-ball score for Aus­tralia af­ter 41 games and got the Aussies far closer to vic­tory than was ex­pected.

While Carey did not bat against Afghanista­n, he helped out with five dis­missals from be­hind the stumps. He also dropped Hardik Pandya (on nought at the time) on Sun­day, a catch he should have taken.

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