Trevor Horns, the chairman of the Australian selection committee, has made it clear that white-ball stumper Alex Carey will be the successor of the incumbent wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine in the Test team in the long run.
Tim Paine had come under the scanner following an ordinary series behind the stumps against India where he dropped multiple catches. As a result, Paine’s position in the Test team has been questioned after he became the first Australian captain to lose back-to-back Test series against India on home soil.
However, the Trevor Horns-led selection committee has given unanimous backing to the Tasmanian stumper, thus putting all the speculations about him getting dropped to rest.
Nevertheless, the selection committee has identified Alex Carey as Paine’s long-term replacement, a point that he iterated after including the South Australian in the 19-men squad for the Test series in South Africa.
“Alex Carey’s been obviously on our radar for some time. “He’s played limited-overs cricket for (Australia), and we thought that was the ideal pathway for him to get to Test match level. Alex over the last 12-18 months has got better and better as a player, so I think our thinking is reasonably clear there without actually rubber-stamping it if I can put it that way,” said Trevor Hohns, as quoted by cricket.com.au.
Alex Carey can also play as a specialist batsman: Trevor Horns
However, Horns made it clear that Tim Paine is still Australia’s first-choice keeper and that Carey has only been chosen as a back-up. He, however, reckoned that given Alex Carey’s current form, he can also slot-in as a specialist batsman in the line-up, if required.
“We won’t be able to fly players in and out (of South Africa due to COVID-19), so we need to have all bases covered. Alex is there definitely as a back-up wicketkeeper (but) the current form he’s in with the bat doesn’t exclude him from possibly playing a role in the batting line-up if required,” Trevor Hohns added.
Meanwhile, Alex Carey has said that he is keen to soak in the dressing room atmosphere of a Test match besides learning from an experienced campaigner like Tim Paine.
“Being a part of this series will give me lots of experience being around Test cricket – I haven’t been in the changerooms for a Test match, so I’m really keen just to soak all that in … learn as much as possible, learn from Tim (Paine).” Alex Carey said.