‘Tough’ Carey to push for Ashes call-up
ALEX Carey wants a ticket to Australia's unprecedented Ashes audition with Tim Paine's successor ending a brilliant World Cup with a knock coated in bravery.
Carey said he didn't have time to get scared when a Jofra Archer bouncer reared into his chin, knocking his helmet off, but rival bowlers have spent the past six weeks learning to fear Australia's future captain.
The wicket-keeper coolly caught his helmet, saving it from dropping onto his stumps, and then stood to the side as six stitches were sewn into his busted chin.
"Yeah, it was just one of those reaction things. The buckle clipped and it fell off and it was the best catch of the tournament for me," Carey said.
"I didn't really have enough time to be scared once it hit me. It was 'catch the lid and play on'. Obviously, Jofra has a good bumper and a few little stitches are nothing to worry about."
Carey - finally promoted above World Cup disappointments Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell - put on 103 runs in a partnership that briefly brought Australia's semi-final against England back to life.
Carey opened the batting with captain Aaron Finch last summer but after limited success he was seen as a plucky World Cup pick.
Fast forward three months and the vice-captain was the tournament's emerging star, with his crisp shots and perfect timing helping Australia dig out of different-sized holes.
"It was not the situation I would have liked to have come in at (3/14)," he said.
"It was obviously good to get an opportunity and I was disappointed not to go a bit further with Smudge (Smith).
"Obviously, he is batting quite well and it was quite tough at times out there, so we tried to absorb most of that pressure that was delivered up front and just build something back and get something on the board."
Carey, who scored a Sheffield Shield century at the SCG in a rare appearance for South Australia last summer, is a favourite of coach Justin Langer.
"He's very tough," captain Aaron Finch said.
"The ball got pushed back through the grill.
"He had seven or eight stitches in his jaw there and he was a bit sore on the other side, but, apparently, he looks all clear for any clinical tests for a fracture.
"So he's very tough. It would take a bit more than that to get him out of the game and he did a fantastic job as well.
"The way that Steve and Alex formed that partnership and managed to really drag us back into the game after a tough start was really important.
"They managed to soak up pressure and then slowly start to transfer a bit more pressure back on to England before we lost our way again."
Carey averaged 62.5 runs at a strike-rate of 104.5, posting three half-centuries to announce himself on the international stage.
The stylish left-hander will stay in England to play the Australia-Australia A tour match later this month, with selectors to pick the Ashes squad straight after that four-day contest.
"I'm hoping to play in that 22 and then obviously it is an interesting selection point," Carey said.
"For me if I am selected in that game we shift to the red ball and see what happens."