Leave Alex Carey alone: Calls for calm after keeper's Ashes clangers

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·Contributor
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  • Alex Carey
    Alex Carey
    Australian cricketer and footballer
  • Adam Gilchrist
    Australian cricketer
Aussie Test great Adam Gilchrist is among those to throw his support behind the under-pressure Alex Carey. Pic: Getty
Aussie Test great Adam Gilchrist is among those to throw his support behind the under-pressure Alex Carey. Pic: Getty

Welcome to the club, Alex Carey.

As Australia's newest wicket-keeper is fast finding out, there is no hiding when you make a mistake with the gloves.

While fielders are forgiven the occasional sin, keepers are expected to glove every opportunity that comes their way, no matter the degree of difficulty.

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Carey had a poor Test – behind the stumps and in front of them - in the drawn Sydney Test and now finds himself under the pump just four games into his Test career.

He will see out the Ashes series and remain the first-choice pick for Australia's upcoming tour of Pakistan, but there's no doubt the heat is being applied by Josh Inglis.

But if it's any comfort, some of Australia's greatest keepers have gone through similar hell before coming out the other side and going on to establish themselves among the greats of the game.   

Rod Marsh was dubbed 'Iron Gloves' during his first Ashes series, so badly did he keep, while Ian Healy took the best part of two years to establish himself in the team after being picked following just six first class games.

Even the great Adam Gilchrist was booed by crowds at the start of his career after replacing Tim Zoehrer as Western Australian wicket-keeper, and then Healy as Australia's gloveman.

Imagine if the selectors had listened to the outside noise and punted any one of those three early doors? 

Aussie great calls for calm over Alex Carey  

     

Gilchrist is now urging patience as the knives are being drawn for Carey.

"Early in a Test career don’t be too hard, don’t be too judgmental," Gilchrist pleaded. 

"You can see the warmth and appreciation in the group of how highly they regard him and I don’t we think we need to over-analyse or be overly critical.

"This is all part of the learnings of Test cricket and the intensity of Test cricket and the scrutiny of Test cricket (after) he seamlessly walked into Test match cricket at the Gabba and we all praised how relaxed he looked.

“He started beautifully and then what he learnt very quickly is you’ve got to back it up every day, every session, every hour, every minute.

"I know I improved more over the course of my career."

Pictured here, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey prepares to catch a ball during the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG.
Alex Carey has come under a bit of pressure after a number of mistakes behind the stumps for Australia in the Ashes series. Pic: Getty

Australia can afford to carry Carey while he works out the kinks in his game and finds his feet at Test level.

He is not Australia's biggest issue heading into the fifth and final Test in Hobart.

It sounds contradictory after we called for patience with Carey, but Marcus Harris's time as opener is up for now, the victim of Usman Khawaja's irresistible form more than anything else.

There's also an injury doubt over Scott Boland and Mitchell Starc looks in need of a spell after a gruelling series but looks likely to push through the fatigue and play.

Starc is the only quick in either side to play in all four Tests and the prospect of cashing in with the pink ball will do more to rejuvenate him than any ice bath or deep tissue massage.

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