Alex Carey under fire as batting slump continues in Cricket World Cup loss

The Aussie wicketkeeper's form has taken a dive since the Ashes.

Alex Carey dismissed and Carey during training.
Alex Carey (pictured) has come under fire for another underwhelming batting performance in Australia's opening World Cup loss. (Getty Images)

Alex Carey has come under fire for another underwhelming batting performance to start his Cricket World Cup campaign after Australia fell to a brutal loss to host's India. Pat Cummins and his men were on the back foot immediately against a determined India outfit with wickets tumbling on a tricky Chennai pitch.

Australia were reduced to 199 runs with Ravi Jadeja ripping through the middle order with the wickets of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Carey. And the attention has turned on Carey again with the wicketkeeper's form since the Ashes dropping off.

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Carey fell to Jadeja for a second-ball duck and questions are being asked of his selection. Since the second Ashes test, Carey has averaged 16.77 with the bat. He scored 99 against South Africa in the One Day International series.

But he has only passed 28 once in 13 innings. The pressure is piling on the wicketkeeper with Josh Inglis in the squad. Inglis scored 48 in his last match for Australia, but can't find a way into the team.

Former Aussie wicketkeeper and captain Tim Paine said Carey could have been struggling with the drama that rocked him in the Ashes with Jonny Bairstow. “He’s been struggling, there’s no doubt about that,” Paine said on SEN Radio. “It looks (like) a mindset thing. We know how dangerous Alex can be… I don’t think he’s looked the same since the Jonny Bairstow stumping.

“Whether that’s had an effect on him mentally because there was no doubt he copped an absolute barrel over there from everyone. I know it was a really difficult time for him and his family, he couldn’t go out for a coffee without copping abuse.

“I don’t know if it’s rattled him or if his confidence has dropped off since, but certainly his batting – barring one game in South Africa – he hasn’t looked the same."

Alex Carey looks at Mitch Marsh.
Mitch Marsh (pictured right) and Alex Carey (pictured left) were involved in a horror moment in Australia's loss. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Before the India game, Carey received support from coach Andrew McDonald amid his poor run of form. “There’s no doubt Josh is playing an up-tempo game, the laps and reverse laps, he’s always been an option for us not only in the keeping space, but in the batting space as well," the coach said before the tournament.

“We feel as though he may have a role in the tournament as a bat only, and if something was to happen to Alex we’ve got a capable back-up who is not coming in raw into this environment. We’ve been impressed with what he has offered, but Alex Carey over a period of time has been ultra impressive.”

However, fans have been left frustrated with Carey's recent performances with many calling for Inglis to come into the XI after Australia's opening loss.

Alex Carey and Mitchell Marsh in horror moment

The wicketkeeper was also in a poor moment with Mitch Marsh. Australia had a golden opportunity to claim the prized scalp of Virat Kohli when India were 3-20, but Marsh put down a simple chance when running in from square leg.

Kohli top-edged a ball from Josh Hazlewood straight into the air, but Marsh couldn't hold onto the chance as he appeared to be worried about a potential collision with Carey. The miss proved extremely costly for Australia, with Kohli going on to make 85 before he was eventually caught at mid-wicket off Hazlewood.

But it was too little too late, with India reaching their victory target with 8.4 overs to spare and six wickets in hand. The loss comes as a brutal reality check for Australia, who must now regroup and bounce back. "It's not ideal, especially someone of his calibre," Australia captain Pat Cummins said of Marsh's drop. "It happens, 4-20 would have been a dream start, but not to be."

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