Australia wicket-keeper Alex Carey spoke on the numerous challenges for batters and opened up on his approach ahead of his side’s upcoming four-match Test series in India.
Australia, the No.1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Rankings as well as the ICC Test Championship 2023, are gearing up perhaps for their toughest challenge in the ongoing cycle yet - the four-match Test series in India.
While the team has been training hard in Bengaluru to get used to the spin-friendly conditions that would be on offer, Alex Carey doesn’t want the reverse-swing threat to be overlooked against an Indian pace attack comprising Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat. Carey reflected on his experiences during Australia’s series win in Pakistan and a 1-1 drawn affair in Sri Lanka last year, wherein he had contributed with crucial lower-order runs in the side’s wins in Lahore and Galle respectively.
"Going to Pakistan it was a lot of spin talk and I found the reverse swinging ball difficult," Carey told reporters in Bangalore, where Australia are training for a four-day camp currently. "I played a four-day game here in 2018 and a lot of the talk was spin and probably forget a bit how damaging both team's fast bowlers are with the reverse-swinging ball, a wicket that might be a bit up and down.
"Having the game ebb and flow between spin and fast bowling, dry periods, periods where it will score quickly…think that's great about this team, the experience we do have.
"We know the threats that India have. For a lot of the guys who have played in the past, we'll speak to them and we'll have our batters' meeting soon. We'll face a lot of different spinners throughout the next few days, our spinners [are] bowling well as well, so for everyone, it's getting our feet on the ground."
Carey, who heads into the series on the back of a maiden Test hundred at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during Australia’s 2-0 win against South Africa recently, reflected further on how he and his fellow batters look forward to counter the spin challenge. An able exponent of the sweep - conventional and reverse - the left-hander singled out the stroke as his go-to one.
"I like to sweep in most circumstances, most formats, then [it's] playing the conditions," he said. "We went to Galle for two Tests and they were two different wickets. So be open-minded about what we are going to come up against, what team they put on the park and what scenario I come in at.
"We haven't really spoken about it too much, the way as a group we are going to play, it's the individual basis. For Travis it might be exploring that [attacking] game a bit, Renners [Matthew Renshaw] is a bit taller and can get to the pitch of the ball - he has been here and succeeded - so it's up to the individual to own their game then we back them in to do that.”
The first India vs Australia Test will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur from 9 February.
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