Alex Carey endured a poor run of form with the bat in the Sheffield Shield, but the South Australian never lost faith at any moment.
Despite only scoring over 50 runs just once in his last eight Sheffield Shield appearances, Alex Carey knows “it takes one innings to turn all that around” as he prepares to make his Test debut against England at the Gabba.
Carey is set to be unveiled as Tim Paine’s successor after the latter resigned from his post as Australian captain before taking an indefinite break from all forms of cricket due to fallout from his sexting scandal.
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The South Australian has played for Australia in the white-ball format and even captained the side in an ODI against the West Indies in July this year, so he’ll certainly know what’s expected of him when he steps up to the plate in Test cricket.
Although he scored 101 in his last outing for SA, Carey’s last five Shield innings make for grim reading: A combined score of 18 is not exactly a run of form a likely Test debutant wants going into the Ashes.
But even with the low scores, Carey “felt in a really good place”.
“It’s a funny game isn’t it. You’re probably judged on your last one or two or three performances,” Carey told RSN.
“For me, I felt in a really good place. Mentally, I feel like I’m hitting the ball well.
“Although the runs didn’t come as I would have liked in the first part of the Sheffield Shield season, I think just over the last couple of years I’ve been pretty solid.
“It wasn’t a case of which end do I hold the bat, I still felt like I knew what I was doing out there.
“To get some runs in that one-day game was great.
“I guess batting is batting. It was nice to know that what I was doing was the right thing.
“I was training hard, I felt really positive over those last couple of performances in the Sheffield Shield.”
Despite the scoring drought in Shield action, Carey had the backing of two of Australian cricket’s most important figures.
Justin Langer and George Bailey have both played their fair share of cricket for Australia across multiple formats and are fully aware that a less-than-ideal run of form doesn’t discount the quality of a player.
One only needs to look at David Warner in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup and then his blistering displays for Australia once the action began to know people can never be quick to judge.
Carey is grateful that Langer and Bailey, the Australian coach and chief selector respectively, are able to look past his recent Shield scores and recognise how quickly the tables can turn in his favour.
“Cricket is one of those games,” Carey said. “You miss out in one game and you’re probably judged on that and you feel like everything is coming down on you.
“But it takes one innings to turn all that around and you’re in great form again.
“Justin and George have played so many games of cricket for Australia and they know what it’s like.”
Originally published as Ashes: Alex Carey spills on how he never lost faith despite poor Shield form
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