Australia have been dealt another blow in the Caribbean with white-ball captain Aaron Finch ruled out of the first one-day international against the West Indies, paving the way for wicketkeeper Alex Carey to make his debut as skipper.
The veteran opener and World Cup winner is still battling a knee injury, further depleting an already severely weakened batting line-up for the game on Wednesday (AEST).
There are also doubts as to whether Finch will be available for the second and third games, with Cricket Australia saying his fitness would be assessed on a “day to day basis”.
The move from the Twenty20 to 50-over arena should suit the Australians but they face a big challenge to reverse the result from the shorter format without almost their entire first choice batting line-up.
Finch joins David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell on a star-studded absentee list. That five had played a key role in Australia defeating India last summer on home soil.
Less than a year after losing the vice-captaincy of Australia’s men’s limited-overs teams to Pat Cummins, Carey will become the 26th player to lead the 50-over side. Cummins is unavailable after missing the tour to spend time with his pregnant fiancee.
Alex Carey will captain Australia in the first ODI against the West Indies after Aaron Finch was ruled out with injury.Credit:Getty Images
“It’s really exciting to be appointed the captain,” Carey said on Tuesday morning. “It’s never good news to have the captain of the Australian cricket team miss through injury.
“Firstly to Finchy, we hope he recovers really quickly. We understand how good a player he is on the field and what he brings on and off the field.
Carey had been vice-captain until CA decided to restructure the leadership and move back to the traditional model.
“When I was given the news it was made really clear how I was held in the group,” Carey said. “My cricket didn’t change, my mentality didn’t change. It was a great opportunity the vice-captaincy when I did have it. To be recognised over here in Barbados to lead the group out is just excitement right now.”
Carey has had captaincy experience at the lower levels leading Australia A, South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League for a record of nine wins, nine losses, two draws and one no-result from 21 games.
He was heavily criticised by Allan Border for his performance at the helm of Australia A last year against India, but said he had learnt from the experience.
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