ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Legends back Carey as Ashes batting bolter
Steve Waugh and Shane Warne both suggest in-form 'keeper as potential batting inclusion for upcoming five-Test assignment
Louis Cameron in Birmingham
12 July 2019, 09:59 AM AEST
Already viewed as Tim Paine's long-term successor behind the stumps, Alex Carey's breakout World Cup campaign could see him play in the upcoming Ashes as a specialist batter, according to a pair of Australian cricket legends.
Steve Waugh and Shane Warne rarely sing from the same hymn sheet, but the former teammates both singled out Carey as an option to bat in Australia's top order in their forthcoming five-Test campaign against England.
With a makeshift bandage wrapped around his face following a bloodying bouncer from Jofra Archer, Carey – who scored 46 off 70 balls – brushed off the knock to help give Australia a fighting chance of victory in a 103-run stand with Steve Smith in their semi-final on Thursday.
Captain Aaron Finch lauded the 27-year-old for his courage in pushing on after the blow, which required six stitches but didn't stop him taking the gloves in the eight-wicket loss.
The limited-overs side's vice-captain had been promoted to No.5 after scoring more heavily than any lower-order batsman (No.7 or below) in the history of the tournament during the group stage, eventually finishing with 375 runs at 62.60.
Asked if Carey could feature as batsman in the Test side, Waugh, who will mentor his former team during the Ashes, told the BBC: "You definitely could."
"He reminds so much of Michael Hussey," he continued. "It looks like he's got every facet of his game under control.
"I think he's definitely in the frame to be picked purely as a batsman. I'm not a selector, but he's definitely good enough."
Speaking on the television broadcast, Warne added: "The way he's played through this tournament he might be a chance to play as a batsman in the Ashes."
Aside from a brief stint at the top of the order during the summer, Carey has batted mostly at No.7 in his 29-game ODI career but would have to bat higher than that to be considered a legitimate batting prospect at Test level.
National one-day and T20 duties meant the South Australian played just two Sheffield Shield games last summer, though he encouragingly posted his second first-class century against finalists NSW in December.
He regularly bats at seven for the Redbacks as well, but his promotion for the game against England was a sign that the major strides he has made with bat in hand have not gone unnoticed.
"It was not the situation I would have liked to have come in at (with Australia 3-14 in the seventh over)," conceded Carey when asked about his ambitions to move up the order.
"It was obviously good to get an opportunity and I was disappointed not to go a bit further with 'Smudge' (Smith). 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 will remain in the United Kingdom and has a domestic T20 stint with Sussex lined up, but is hopeful of featuring in a highly-anticipated Australia v Australia A game in Southampton later this month.
The match is set to have major bearing on Ashes selection, with Carey also squarely in the frame to be named as Paine's wicketkeeping understudy.
"I'm hoping to play in that 22 and then obviously it is an interesting selection point," Carey continued. "I guess for me if I am selected in that game, we shift to the red ball and see what happens."
"(I've) been about worrying about the white ball for now and playing this World Cup. We would have liked to have progressed to the next stage, but (we) haven't.
"I guess you can't think too far ahead now, but there is a week off before that game so hopefully I am a part of that and I get a chance, hopefully play well and put my hand up if required."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Tour match: Australia v Australia A, July 23-26
Tour match: Australians v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval