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Would be awesome if Virat Kohli plays: Australia A captain Alex Carey | Cricket News



Australia A captain Alex Carey is hoping that India captain Virat Kohli turns out for their second warm-up match of the tour, a day/night fixture with the pink ball which begins from Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
After his blazing 85-run knock in the third and final T20 International against Australia at the SCG on Tuesday, Kohli had said he would think about playing in the match only if he feels his body would hold up in right stead.
“It would be awesome to get that experience and opportunity against him. We’ re hoping that India puts their best line-up out there, and we can put up a show against them. It’s a great, exciting opportunity to play against a high-quality Test team,” Carey said.
Meanwhile, a few days ahead of the pink ball day/night first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval, Australia have a serious worry on their plate. Opener Joe Burns, who has averaged just 8.71 in red-ball cricket this summer, scored just 4 and 0 in the first warm-up game against India A. With Test aspirant and the highly-rated Will Pucovski ruled out following a concussion injury on Tuesday, Burns has a final chance to impress the selectors as he opens with Marcus Harris for Australia A against India from Friday.
Carey backed the struggling opener to come good soon. “Joe’s really experienced. We know how good a player he is. No doubt he’ll be working really hard tomorrow to score some runs as always. I fully trust the way that he goes about it. He’s a proven opening batsman for a long time now. Him and Harry (Marcus Harris) line up at the top against a really strong Indian team would be a great opportunity for both of them. It’s a pink ball (game), so conditions will be a little bit different. I caught up with the boys last night in the nets…he’s seeing the ball really well. So, there’s a big score just around the corner for Joe.”
With Tim Paine, a wicketkeeper, leading the Australian Test side, Carey, who does the job for Australia with the gloves in the One-day side, must bide his time till the chance comes along to make his Test debut. Even if he does well in this game, he won’t be a part of the 17-man squad for the first Test, and frankly, would only get into the team if Paine is injured or unavailable or dropped.
Surely, it shouldn’t be easy on Carey to push himself the extra yard in this game, knowing there could be nothing at stake for him in the short future. “It’s not tough at all to motivate myself. I love playing cricket. Hopefully, I continue to try and get better and one day an opportunity comes up. I’m just super-excited to lead this group tomorrow. Then we’ve got Big Bash cricket around the corner. We’ve just had a big (limited overs) series against India, so lots of cricket on my plate, which I’m really enjoying. (I’m) loving seeing the Test guys go so well. It’s pretty easy to motivate myself and enjoy my cricket and hopefully keep improving,” said Carey.
For now, he seemed geared up to lead Australia A against India. “I’m really looking forward to keeping out there against a really high-quality team. Seeing the boys in the last three-day game, the way they competed, it’s really exciting. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it tomorrow. To get out there and play four-day cricket, it’s been roughly 12 months (since he played first-class cricket) …so I’m really excited to get out there and play under lights against a great opposition,” he said.
A couple of months back, Carey faced the same dilemma which dogs a lot of international cricketers these days – should they prefer IPL over the chance to represent their country? Apart from the ‘Paine factor’, the other reason why Carey isn’t in the Aussie Test squad is primarily because he had to choose playing for the Delhi Capitals in his maiden outing in the IPL over four matches in the Sheffield Shield for South Australia earlier this Australian summer. Was there any regret in that decision?
“There was zero frustration or regret in that. I enjoyed, loved my time in the IPL, playing under (Capitals’ coach) Ricky Ponting, and experiencing that for the first time. It sort of prepared me for the ODI series and for the lots of Big Bash cricket (he plays for the Adelaide Strikers) coming up as well. I played some first-class cricket last season. I made some good gains. I’m extremely confident in the way I’ve prepared (for this game) going into tomorrow’s game,” he said.
Carey claimed that he was leading some exciting young Aussie talent against India in this tour game. “The group of players we’ve got together is certainly exciting. The bloke in form is Cameron Green, you know the way he’s playing, it’s really exciting to see him up close. I’ve only played against him once in a four-day game, so I’m playing alongside him. You’ve got lots of players vying for Test selection just around the corner. I’m excited to see some of the young quicks in Harry Conway, Sean Abbott is firing really well. Will Sutherland. Swepson’s form, leading up to this (game) has been unbelievable as well. So, it’s a great group of players we’ve got together. I’m really excited to put in a really good contest against what I think would be a full-strength Indian team, under the lights. We’ll be playing to win the game,” he said.
He was confident that Australia A possessed a formidable batting line-up in this game. “We’ve got a really strong batting line-up with (Nic) Maddinson and (Cameron) Green as well, led by Joe Burns and Marcus Harris at the top. All the guys (in the Australia A) are in good nick. Lots of players are hitting the ball so well. So, the selectors have their hands full. It’s a really exciting group of players to pick from,” he said.