Alex Carey has been endorsed by Ricky Ponting to be Australia’s wicket-keeper at the World Cup, with the team’s batting coach also backing him as stand-in captain if Aaron Finch is injured.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks with his calm demeanour and leadership qualities winning over the former skipper, who will be coach Justin Langer’s right-hand man at the tournament in England and Wales this year.
“Alex Carey offers the best package as keeper,” Ponting, who played at five World Cups, told cricket.com.au when asked who he sees filling the role.
Chief selector Trevor Hohns recently mentioned Test skipper Tim Paine and the in-form Matthew Wade, as well Peter Handscomb, as other possible wicket-keeping options.
But Ponting believes Carey deserves the opportunity after his performances in Australia’s recent eight-game winning streak.
“He’s dangerous at the top of the order or late in the innings because he does score 360 degrees, he’s a deceptively hard hitter of the ball and for mine, he’s just the right character, he’s the right person that you want to have in your team,” he said.
“I actually think he’s got really good strong leadership qualities as well.
“If anything happened to Finch through the World Cup or leading into the World Cup, then I think he’s really well-equipped to lead the side, even though he’s still relatively inexperienced and never captained Australia before.”
Carey is already joint vice-captain alongside Pat Cummins, with several other senior players, such as Usman Khawaja, also possibilities to lead the side should Finch be injured.
Defending champions Australia must name their World Cup squad this month.
“I’d like to be at the World Cup first,” Carey said when asked about the captaincy, adding: “We’ve got lots of leaders around this group.”