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Locked in: Alex Carey officially unveiled as new Test wicketkeeper

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2nd December, 2021
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Australian cricket’s worst-kept secret has now been officially revealed; Alex Carey will replace Tim Paine as Test wicketkeeper for the first Ashes Test next week.

South Australian gloveman Carey beats out Western Australia’s Josh Inglis for the job, which became available following Paine’s resignation from the captaincy and the Ashes squad following his much-publicised sexting scandal.

He is set to be Australia’s 461st Test cricketer at the Gabba, having undertaken a long-term apprenticeship as Paine’s heir apparent behind the stumps which has included a stint as ODI and T20I wicketkeeper.

“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity,” Carey said in a statement.

“It’s an exciting build-up for what is a huge series ahead. My focus is on preparing and playing my part in helping Australia secure the Ashes.”

At 30 years old, Carey has had to bide his time for a Test call-up. He first came close to selection ahead of the 2017-18 Ashes, only to lose out to Paine. Since then, the keeper-batsman has remained at the forefront of selectors’ minds with some excellent white-ball cricket for Australia, including playing a starring role in the 2019 ODI World Cup.

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However, a barnstorming 2021 from Inglis, which included a dominant 2020-21 Sheffield Shield season as well as some dynamic batting performances in T20 competitions around the world, saw him rocket into contention. He will now keep wickets for Australia A in next week’s match with the England Lions, to be played alongside the Test in Brisbane.

Chief selector George Bailey praised Carey in a statement, revealing his white-ball experience at the highest level was a major factor in winning him the Test job.

“Alex has been a regular member of the national side in white ball cricket, particularly in the one-day game,” Bailey said in a statement.

“He is an excellent cricketer and a fine individual who will bring many great strengths into the team. He will be a very deserved holder of baggy green cap number 461.”

While Carey’s first-class average sits at 34.73, only slightly better than Paine’s, he has averaged over 50 across the last two Sheffield Shield seasons, albeit only playing seven matches due to his international commitments. Three of his five career centuries have also come in that time.

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His glovework, particularly to pace bowling, has also been acclaimed in South Australia; he holds the Sheffield Shield record for most dismissals in a season with 59 in 2016-17.

>> Check out the full Ashes fixture

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