Alex Carey might not have got too many chances during the ODI series against England, but says he ‘took a lot out of’ being around the team and watching the action.
A lot of it didn’t make for happy viewing from an Australian point of view, as England swept the series 5-0, and Carey, the highly-rated 26-year-old vice-captain of the T20I side, identified batting against spin as his main area of focus going forward.
Carey played the fourth ODI, scoring 6 in five balls, and then scored 44 in 40 in the final game, good runs in an innings worth only 205. He fell to David Willey and Sam Curran in the two games, but saw how Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid picked up 12 wickets each in the series, both going at well under six runs an over.
“I want to be the best player of spin,” he said at the end of the series. “We’ve seen through those middle overs we need to be better. It doesn’t have to be scoring boundaries every ball but at least manipulating the field, being a bit more busy, and getting on top of the spin.
“Sitting on the sidelines was tough watching the boys. Playing the last few games was a great experience for me, playing in England, a one-day series against the best side in the world. I personally took a lot out of it sitting back watching the best side in the world go about their business, and how much work we’ve all got to do to lift our game.”
For a newcomer to have Justin Langer, the coach, and Ricky Ponting, with the team on a short-term arrangement, around can only be an enriching experience.
“I’ve been speaking to Punter about whatever it is that comes up. There’s so much I’ve spoken to him about and just trying to take what works for me as well,” he said. “Just taking bits from all these guys (Langer and Ponting) and trying to put it into my game, without trying to complicate it as well.”
What made it better was that he got to spend time with Adam Gilchrist too as the legendary keeper-batsman dropped in at the training sessions once in a while.
“It’s more the off-field stuff and just coming into a game with a pretty clear mind of ‘what’s going to be best for the team to win a game’,” said Carey. “The best part about Gilly is he kept it pretty simple when he played and he’s doing the same with the messages he’s giving us.
“If there’s anything it’s just little bits and pieces but it’s pretty much ‘what’s best for our team to win’ and going into games with that mentality. It keeps everything else pretty simple.”