There was talk that Ellyse Perry might be forced to be a batter only after injuries plagued her recent career but the Aussie all-rounder showed glimpses of why she’s one of the most feared bowlers in women’s international cricket.
The anticipation of the hostile welcoming by the Barmy Army to the Australians came to life. At least the duo of Steve Smith and David Warner didn’t expect it to be any different and what’s more, they came all geared up for the belligerent confrontation.
The spotlight was never going to skew away from them. Undeterred, Warner dealt with the bowlers in a way that rarely had been seen before. Steve Smith, undeniably was successful by anchoring the ship and became the highlight reel with the bat; but completely in contrast, while fielding, according to his margin of standards.
That was Smith and his extended purple patch. Amid the right-hander’s tenacious innings, Alex Carey’s fireworks passed by unrecognised. It didn’t include the pyrotechnics as equivalent to his counterpart Jos Buttler’s. Australia may have required to do him a Buttler at that stage, but his cameo deserved to be in the big leagues.
Not that Carey was sloppy with the gloves; but the Victorian’s excellence with the bat, especially his efficiency against spin triumphed the specialist keeper who hadn’t had a crisp outing as a batsman. Nonetheless, Smith’s return dislodged the right-hander’s spot in the squad, having also taken the risk of making Carey as the solitary gloveman.
At Southampton on Saturday, when Alex Carey came out to bat, the men-in-yellow required runs in the much-needed death overs. As much as Smith found his rhythm right from the first delivery he faced, the pressure had slightly amplified on him, for his partners weren’t able to find the boundaries as frequently as him.
However, it was Carey who gave the Australian innings an imperative lift to turn the tide slightly into the tourists’ favour.
It wasn’t that the South Australian had never manufactured a knock of substance before for the national team. However, his momentary stay used to go mostly unnoticed. If not meteoric, the 27-year old’s sizeable yet timely contributions were anything but more than significant in scripting some confidence-boosting wins.
After a terrible miscommunication that led a scratchy stay from Stoinis to depart in the 43rd over, the defending champions were aiming for close to a 275-run mark. Stoinis’ departure indeed opened the doors for Carey to launch the ammo. Not only was Carey clattering boundaries; but ran hard; although endangering himself almost as many as on a couple of occasions.
Stoinis, as much as known for adding balance to the line-up, slightly has been off-colour with the bat in the recent months. Stoinis’ painful stay at the crease and having not as enough legs as Steve Smith did only harm more than good.
Carey’s introduction to the middle had them up and running again, also allowing Smith at the other end to switch gears.
Carey’s transitory sneak peek against the pre-tournament favourites indeed brings a good sign whose selection was an exceptionally disputable one. It could be too soon to name him as the big draw.
Nevertheless, he has found the stride to keep moving forward. Questions continue to materialise, especially about their batting order. However, the fact that every batsman has been stepping up to make telling scores keeps them well on track.