West Indies v Australia ODIs - Men's
Finch injured, Carey named Australia's 26th ODI captain
Aaron Finch ruled out with knee injury, leaving wicketkeeper to take reins for first ODI against West Indies in absence of regular vice-captain Pat Cummins
Louis Cameron in Barbados
20 July 2021, 07:30 AM AEST
Alex Carey will become the 26th man to captain Australia in one-day international cricket after Aaron Finch was ruled out of the first ODI against West Indies in Barbados.
Finch reaggravated a right knee injury during last week's fifth T20I in St Lucia, a niggle he has been carrying during the ongoing tour of the Caribbean.
Carey takes the mantle in the absence of regular vice-captain Pat Cummins, who is sitting out the West Indies tour, as well as next month's Bangladesh tour, along with a host of senior players like Steve Smith and David Warner.
Cricket Australia said Finch's fitness for the second and third ODIs "will be assessed on a day to day basis".
"I am deeply honoured to be able to lead the team while Aaron recovers," said Carey, who has previously captained Australia A, the Adelaide Strikers and South Australia.
"To captain Australia is one of the greatest privileges in sport and an honour I am extremely thankful to receive. Finchy is our captain and we will welcome him back with open arms when he is fully fit, so for now I hope I can fill the role to his extremely high standards."
Carey will lead an inexperienced ODI team against the Windies, with Josh Philippe, Ben McDermott and Riley Meredith all in the mix to make their ODI debuts.
His vice-captain will be announced on Wednesday morning (AEST) ahead of the series opener.
Carey's leadership potential was recognised at an early age, although his first captaincy role was not in cricket.
A talented junior Australian rules footballer, he was the first official skipper of the Australian Football League's newest team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, albeit when they were still only part of Victoria's Under-18 competition.
After coaching legend Kevin Sheedy told Carey that he had been cut from the Giants' AFL list due to his lack of speed, he switched his focus to cricket and within two years had made his debut for South Australia.
However, it would take another a few seasons, during which time he lost his state contract, before he excelled enough to earn national attention.
The left-hander made his Australian debut in 2018 and has become a mainstay in the one-day team, with 42 ODIs now to his name, while he has also played 33 T20 Internationals.
His standout international campaign to date was the 2019 World Cup, capping a superb tournament with the bat by memorably batting on with a heavily bandaged jaw after being struck in the helmet by Jofra Archer in the semi-final against England.
He then struck a memorable maiden international century against the same opponent a year later in a series-sealing 212-run sixth-wicket partnership with Glenn Maxwell.
Carey had previously been elevated to be a co-vice-captain of the limited-overs teams but was stripped of the title when Cummins was made Finch’s sole deputy last year.
While he is yet to earn a Baggy Green, Carey has been tipped to be a strong contender to take over from Tim Paine as the Test keeper when he hangs up the gloves.
"For a long period of time Alex has shown an extremely high level of professionalism and discipline as a fantastic leader within this group," coach Justin Langer said.
"The injury to Finchy gives Alex an opportunity for his first experience as captain. I have no doubt he will do a fantastic job with the support of the other senior players."
Both teams could be without their regular skippers for the series opener, with Kieron Pollard non-committal when asked whether he would return to lead the side after missing the whole T20I series against the Aussies, which the hosts won 4-1.
Nicholas Pooran took over in his absence in the T20s, but Shai Hope is the vice-captain for the ODIs.
"I'm alive and well," Pollard said cryptically. "I'm doing the necessary training and protocols in terms of preparing to play.
"I've got one more day in terms of preparation before the series starts tomorrow. Let's see."
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (vc for ODIs), Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc for T20Is), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope (vc), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd
T20 series: West Indies won 4-1
(all matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia)
First T20: West Indies won by 18 runs
Second T20: West Indies won by 56 runs
Third T20: West Indies won by six wickets
Fourth T20: Australia won by four runs
Fifth T20: West Indies won by 16 runs
ODI series (all matches at Kensington Oval, Barbados)
First ODI (D/N): July 21, 4.30am AEST (July 20, 2.30pm local)
Second ODI (D/N): July 23, 4.30am AEST (July 22, 2.30pm local)
Third ODI (D/N): July 25, 4.30am AEST (July 24, 2.30pm local)
* Details of five-match T20 tour of Bangladesh are yet to be announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board. Tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arrangements and relevant government approvals.