Yet, Carey chose to carry on. His 46-run knock couldn’t prevent Australia’s eventual defeat, but earned the ‘keeper-batsman much praise.
That game on July 11 was the last ODI that Australia played before Tuesday’s upcoming encounter with India. “I am really determined to do well. In a World Cup semifinal, a little knock to the face isn’t going to faze me too much. These are some really tough conditions over here playing in India, and some exciting challenges in the next week.
“We’re really determined to back up the series we had last year (Australia beat India 3-2 after being down 0-2 in the five-match ODI series),” Carey said.
Many see Carey as Tim Paine’s successor in Test cricket, especially as the former is a better batsman. But with Paine captaining Australia to one Test match success after another, it looks like Carey will have to wait for a while before he gets to wear the coveted Baggy Green. However, his experience of having played Aussie Rules Football has taught Carey that fortunes can change fast in sport.
“When (the) Australian cricket teams are winning, it’s hard to change (the team). For me, it’s (important) to do my absolute best here in the One-day team and hopefully be a part of the T20 World Cup, which is not too far away. I don’t look too far ahead. From my previous experiences with football you know things can change pretty quickly,” Carey said.
He stays focused on the present. “It’s (about) focusing on the important stuff and that’s playing good cricket in the coloured clothes, hopefully win a series in India and then go back and play some Big Bash. (I’m) not too fazed by the external pressure of when and if (he’ll replace Paine),” stressed the left-hander.
Having enjoyed a fine run in 2019, Carey now wants to build on what he’s done so far. Specifying his goals for the year, the 27-year-old said: “I still have lots of areas of my game I want to improve on and get better at. I know I will probably bat middle to lower order so it’s trying to finish games off for Australia.”
Like in the past, he said that he looks up to Indian wicketkeeping legend MS Dhoni. “When you look at the best in the world like MS Dhoni, you want to learn as much as you can. I was lucky to play against him last year, just the way he took the game deep and won games for India. I aspire to do that one day,” he said.
Having toured here last year, Carey is aware of the challenges of playing in India. “It’s just improving little parts of my game. Coming back to India, you know it is going to be a tough contest. We will probably have lots of spin through the middle and then at the end world-class bowlers like (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami (will bowl). It’s just about keeping it simple and playing my role,” he explained.
Clearly, the Aussies are deriving much of their confidence from the way they came back last March to win. “We’re really excited to come back here and hopefully improve on that series. We want to play some really good cricket against a strong side in India, and they’ve got a lot of form coming in,” he said.