England v Australia T20Is - Men's
Carey finds clarity amid leadership shuffle
Admittedly 'disappointed' with the call to see him lose the vice-captaincy, Alex Carey says it changes little for him
22 August 2020, 02:47 PM AEST
Alex Carey admits he was disappointed to learn he is no longer Australia's white-ball co-vice-captain after skipper Aaron Finch this week revealed the team would be reverting to a more "streamlined" leadership process.
Pat Cummins is now the sole deputy after Finch recommended the one-day and T20 teams shift back to the traditional leadership structure of having just one vice-captain after Australia's tour of South Africa earlier this year.
Ahead of Australia's upcoming white-ball series in England, the skipper explained he wanted to "try to streamline the process a bit more, especially on the field".
"Having that one direct line for me is really important," Finch said. "At times if you have seven or eight guys going to three or four people, sometimes it can feel a little bit clouded and you just get to a point where you have so much advice.
"So for Pat to be able to filter that out on the field will be a huge help."
Carey had been one of the two named vice-captains for Australia's limited-overs teams since that leadership structure was implemented under then new coach Justin Langer in 2018.
But he said he understood the decision to hand the sole responsibility to Cummins, who has also served as deputy at times during that period.
"I've had a lot of clarity around the decision," the keeper-batsman said. "You're always going to be disappointed with that but I'm also really grateful and thankful for the opportunity I've had in that role in the past 24 months.
"I would love to still have the title next to my name but it's not going to change anything from my end.
"I'm still going to rock up with a big smile on my face and try really hard around the group. It's going back to the old model, which has worked in the past.
"Pat Cummins is a fantastic leader and Aaron Finch is as well. Through the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell – there's so many senior figures and heads around the group that we're not reliant on just one or two people (to lead).
"The decision sits really comfortably with me now."
Cummins would be the first fast bowler to captain Australia in limited-overs cricket if he were to step in for Finch, though the all-format star has previously cast doubt on his ability to lead the side as a bowler, in Tests in particular.
Cricket Australia has insisted there is no succession plan in place for either Finch, who has expressed his desire to retire after the 2023 ODI World Cup, or Test captain Tim Paine.
Travis Head and Josh Hazlewood are the current Test vice-captains, while Mitch Marsh has also held the role in recent times.
Other possible captaincy candidates are Marnus Labuschagne, who has been touted as a potential future leader, and Steve Smith, after the former skipper became eligible to lead again earlier this year following a two-year leadership ban in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. As a result of that scandal, David Warner is precluded from ever holding an official leadership position.
Carey stressed he does not see his demotion as a setback and is keen to take the reins at domestic level with the Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers when state and BBL captain Head is unavailable.
"I just want to play cricket for Australia and … if there isn't a title next to my name that's fine," said the 28-year-old.
"I'm really keen to just to play the best cricket I can play. I'm just really excited to go on this trip, it's been six months (since) we played cricket.
"You never know down the track – I really enjoy captaining the Adelaide Strikers and the Redbacks team in the past, so hopefully there's more of that when Travis is playing at Australian level and I'm there (with SA or the Strikers).
"I don't see it as a setback, I see it as a really big opportunity just to go out there and perform my skills."