Water boy to water carrier: Inglis' surprise elevation

Australia had never dropped their keeper at a World Cup before, but have now given their new gloveman considerable responsibility

Wickets, not economy rate, key for attack-minded Zampa

Blindsided by his call-up to replace Alex Carey, Josh Inglis is determined to vindicate his shock promotion from water boy to water carrier in Australia's World Cup tilt in India.

Following long stints on the fringes in all three international formats, Inglis has not only been entrusted with the gloves in a notoriously difficult place to keep wickets but is also suddenly the lynchpin of a batting line-up that finally fired in Lucknow.

The 28-year-old top-scored with 58 off 59 balls on Monday night as Pat Cummins' side got their first win of the tournament. Inglis has also performed creditably behind the stumps against both South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Australia had never previously dropped their wicketkeeper midway through a men’s World Cup (ODI or T20) but the George Bailey-led selection panel made the bold call to axe Carey after their first-up defeat to India.

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"I think I was at brekky and Bails said, ‘Do you want to play a game of cricket tomorrow?’ and I was like, 'Yeah, I do'," Inglis told reporters before flying out for Bengaluru, where Pakistan awaits on Friday night (7.30pm AEDT).

"I didn't really see it coming. So that was nice. I'm just really, really pumped to be getting a game at the minute.

"I can't take that for granted. Professional cricket is tough and international cricket is even harder. So that doesn't mean I've cracked it now. Still got to put performances on the board because Kez (Carey) is a very good player."

Inglis said Carey had wished him well: "He said 'good luck'.

"Wicketkeepers, like spinners, we have our own group and we look after each other, we train together, that sort of thing. There's only one wicketkeeper in every team. Just got to do the job as best you can."

Like Carey had been, Inglis has been entrusted to hold the middle-order together at the important No.5 spot.

It's a position that requires considerable versatility in Australia's 50-over batting strategy, separating the top four (who are expected to score the bulk of the side's runs) and finishers Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell (who have licenses to attack from the outset).

"It's about summing up the situation and the game scenario," said Inglis. "If it's on to take the game on and it's a nice wicket, then go for it – we've got a lot batting depth behind me. I think that number five role is about playing those situations really well."

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Long tipped as a future star having shone domestically in all formats for Western Australia and Perth Scorchers, Inglis has had to bide his time on the bench behind first-choice keepers Carey (Tests and ODI) and Matthew Wade (T20).

The right-hander has played a handful of matches as a specialist batter, but Monday's contest marked the first time Inglis had stood behind the stumps in consecutive ODIs.

He kept back-to-back games for the first time in T20Is during the August-September tour of South Africa, yet Wade still remains in the picture to retain the gloves for next year's World Cup in the shortest format.

It underlines the rarely settled life of a back-up keeper.

"It's always tough when you're when you're traveling with a squad and you don't get that game time," said Inglis.

"You can train as well as you like, but without playing any games, you've got nothing to really fall back on.

"(In) South Africa, I was pretty rusty, I had one or two decent games but I hadn't played any cricket for four or five months. So that was nice to get some cricket there and hopefully lead into doing well."

Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures

October 8: Lost to India by six wickets

October 12: Lost to South Africa by 134 runs

October 16: Beat Sri Lanka by five wickets

October 20: v Pakistan, Bengaluru (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 25: v Netherlands, Delhi (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

October 28: v New Zealand, Dharamsala, 4pm AEDT

November 4: v England, Ahmedabad (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

November 7: v Afghanistan, Mumbai (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT

November 11: v Bangladesh, Pune, 4pm AEDT

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

2023 World Cup standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 India Men India Men IND 9 9 0 0 0 2.57 0 18
2 South Africa Men South Africa Men SA 9 7 2 0 0 1.261 0 14
3 Australia Men Australia Men AUS 9 7 2 0 0 0.841 0 14
4 New Zealand Men New Zealand Men NZ 9 5 4 0 0 0.743 0 10
5 Pakistan Men Pakistan Men PAK 9 4 5 0 0 -0.199 0 8
6 Afghanistan Men Afghanistan Men AFG 9 4 5 0 0 -0.336 0 8
7 England Men England Men ENG 9 3 6 0 0 -0.572 0 6
8 Bangladesh Men Bangladesh Men BAN 9 2 7 0 0 -1.087 0 4
9 Sri Lanka Men Sri Lanka Men SL 9 2 7 0 0 -1.419 0 4
10 Netherlands Men Netherlands Men NED 9 2 7 0 0 -1.825 0 4

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points