Aussies eye T20 redemption after ‘unacceptable’ ODI loss
AUSTRALIA vice-captain Alex Carey has tapped in two of the most damaging players in recent white ball history hoping to end the tour of England on a high and get the T20 outfit a win the one-day team couldn't manage.
Carey will be deputy to Aaron Finch when Australia take another shot at England in Birmingham on Thursday morning (AEST) in a format in which the tourists have racked up six straight wins and moved to second in the world rankings, the highest of any Aussie team.
Glenn Maxwell, man of the series when the T20 team captained by Dave Warner went undefeated in five games against England and New Zealand in February, faces a fitness test to play after missing the last two games of the one-day series with a shoulder issue.
One-day captain Tim Paine has departed, as has spinner Nathan Lyon and batsman Shaun Marsh, the leading run scorer in the 5-0 rout.
Nic Maddinson, without a state home, has come in to bolster the batting ranks with leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and all-rounder Jack Wildermuth also included.
The make-up of the team will be decided after the final training.
It's a one-off encounter before the T20 squad travels to Zimbabwe for a tri-series with Pakistan, which is still going ahead despite escalating political tensions in the African nation.
Carey only played the final two games of the one-day series but said the group had been left in no doubt by coach Justin Langer how important it was to avoid a complete tour whitewash by beating the home team this time.
"Absolutely, losing 5-0 is not acceptable for the Australian cricket team. We don't want that result ever again," Carey said.
"Our T20 is going really well, we're second in the world at the moment and we want to go one better.
"We've got a few new inclusions into the T20 side and I think it's just really exciting, not to start again, but to go out there and show the T20 cricket we are playing is fantastic."
Carey did a lot of game watching this tour, but also a lot of net batting, much of it with balls being thrown at him by Aussie great Ricky Ponting, who has been an assistant to Langer in England and they have spent copious amounts of time together.
And at Old Trafford last Sunday, Adam Gilchrist joined in the help crew and Carey, a player in the mould of the legendary Aussie keeper/batsmen, has been lapping up every second, even though the advice wasn't especially about his on-field tasks.
"It's more the off-field stuff and just coming in to a game with a pretty clear mind of what's going to be best for the team to win a game," Carey said.
"The best part about Gilly is he kept it pretty simple when he played and he's doing it the same with the messages he's giving us.
"It's pretty much about what's going to be best for our team to win a game of cricket, and going in with that mentality."
After the match the team will head to Zimbabwe for four games over five days, all to be played in Harare.
Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth