Paine concerned as Aussies pummelled

October 13, 2023 BY

Worried: Former skipper Tim Paine is concerned about Alex Carey (right) after Australia dropped their opening world cup match to India. Photo: RAFIQ MAQBOOL/ AP

TIM Paine has said he holds significant concerns for his protege Alex Carey and his recent efforts after Australia slumped to a comprehensive defeat in their World Cup opener against India.

The hosts strolled to victory with 52 balls in hand at Chennai after the Aussies posted 199 with the bat.

No Australian made a half century, with Steve Smith’s 46 off 71 the best effort with willow in hand.

Despite Australia having India at 3 for 2 inside the first two overs in reply, masterclasses from Virat Kohli (85 off 116) and Lokesh Rahul (97 not out off 115) helped India to easily overcome the subpar total inside 42 overs.

It comes after a disappointing World Cup preparation for Pat Cummins’ side, who are now well behind the eight ball.

But from an individual sense, Paine says wicketkeeper Carey is at risk of losing his spot after a lean run of form.

Carey, who made a duck on Sunday night, has played eight ODIs since early September and just once in that patch has he passed 14.

The 32-year-old has also failed to pass 50 in his last four Test matches.

Carey has enjoyed a golden run as Australia’s primary gloveman since taking over from Paine ahead of the 2021 Ashes series but is now under the most pressure in his career.

“He’s been struggling, there’s no doubt about that,” Paine said of Carey on SEN Breakfast.

“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.

“And I say that, doesn’t look the same, with his body language and his intent, his intent to go out and take the game on from the start.”

Paine added that Australia has to make a call on Carey if he continues to struggle, backing backup keeper Josh Inglis to perform.

“It’ll be interesting, Josh Inglis is over there and he’s been playing really well from limited opportunities and he’s a really damaging player and good player of spin in his own right,” he said.

“Hopefully Alex can bounce back in the next game or two but otherwise I think there might be a bit of pressure coming on.”