Home » Cricket 2024: Australian cricket team worries for Alex Carey after Jonny Bairstow stumping latest, Ashes controversy, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, The Test, analysis, news

Cricket 2024: Australian cricket team worries for Alex Carey after Jonny Bairstow stumping latest, Ashes controversy, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, The Test, analysis, news

As Alex Carey considered his starring role in the latest iteration of hit series The Test, the Australian wicketkeeper was surprised by the extent to which his teammates were concerned for his welfare following the drama that unfolded at Lords during the Ashes.

Chief among the flashpoints the award-winning Prime Video series, which will also screen on Fox Cricket, canvasses is the aftermath of the infamous stumping in which a quick-thinking Carey produces a brilliant piece of wicketkeeping to dismiss Jonny Bairstow.

While the tension that was apparent on the field and in the grandstands around England during the series is captured in the third instalment of the series, the fly-on-the-wall documentary also captures the empathy and camaraderie of the Australians on the road.

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Carey’s teammates Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja revealed their concerns for Carey, whose form with the bat dipped following the Lords Test and ultimately led to his axing from the ODI team that won the World Cup in India in November, after the incident.

Carey, whose next appearance for Australia will be against India in the high-profile summer of Test cricket beginning in Perth in late November, said he appreciated the thoughts but felt he had coped well with the acrimony that followed the dismissal.

Alex Carey of Australia stumps Jonny Bairstow of England during Day Five of the LV= Insurance Ashes 2nd Test match between England and Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 2, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Carey ‘daunted’ by villain status | 00:36

“I am really close with Steve anyway and Usman and his family – he has a beautiful family and we were able to spend some time together off the field – but to hear that the care and support that everyone had for me, I felt that at the time, but I don’t think it was required as much as it probably sounds (in The Test),” Carey told foxsports.com.au.

“Being a part of that series, everyone was in it together and it was a pretty intense series in that games turned around pretty quickly, the way it was played was in fast forward mode, and it was quite exhausting at times being around it all, but it was a lot of fun.

“Having the time to sit back and debrief and decompress from it all, it is a series that everyone will remember for a very long time as a playing group, and how much fun it was to play that style of cricket against another country who were definitely barracking hard for the home team.

“Like you saw, there was a lot of support from (the) guys who were saying that in the documentary but I didn’t feel I required as much as maybe (my teammates) have come out and said. Having my family over there was great. Having people to talk to post Lords and moving to the next one was great as well.”

Australia’s wicket keeper Alex Carey (R) plays a shot as England’s Jonny Bairstow (L) keeps wicket on the opening day of the fourth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester, north-west England on July 19, 2023. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP

Smith says in The Test he believed the saga had an impact on the Australian wicketkeeper and that he was concerned for Carey, who was tipped off about Bairstow’s habit of leaving the crease after playing a shot by the nation’s captain Pat Cummins.

“I could sense he wasn’t quite right mentally and I can understand it. I was worried about him and his well being,” Smith said.

Khawaja, meanwhile, praised the character the 32-year-old showed in the aftermath of the Bairstow stumping.

“Alex is by the book. He is straight down the line,” Khawaja said.

“He and I joke around and I call him teacher’s pet. It was a very different situation for him to be in, and the reason I say that is he’s such a good guy. If you ask him to do something, he will do it. The team needs something done, he’ll do it.

“He is a pleaser by nature. That’s just his personality. The way he handles situations and the way his whole family just had to cop it and handle it, I have a lot of respect for the way they carried themselves as a whole family. It wasn’t just himself.

“It’s got to be a tough situation for Alex and he was right at the head of it all and he showed strength through the whole thing. It wasn’t easy for him, but he handled himself beautifully.”

Travis Head, who is yet to see the series due to his involvement with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, said the support Carey received came naturally to him and that he did not think it was over the top at the time.

“Looking back at Kezza’s example, being one of his best mates in the team and close in South Australia, were we looking after him? It’s hard to (think) I consciously was (doing extra). It just comes naturally, looking after him,” Head said on Tuesday.