Image courtesy of: The London Evening Standard
“I think you can start pencilling his name into the starting team-sheet”
Former England captain Andrew Strauss has announced that he truly believes this is the beginning of something special for batsman Michael Carberry, who scored an unbeaten 153 against Australia A just yesterday.
Carberry also performed well in the first warm-up match England played, which was against Western Australia, where he smashed a brilliant 78.
“Having Michael come in and get some runs is quite significant for the team,” Strauss said. “I think you can start pencilling his name into the starting team-sheet.
“Things are starting to get clearer for England which is important prior to that first Test.
“He’s a very experienced cricketer who has been around for a long time, he’s got a good back-foot game. It’s a bit of a step into the unknown and opening the batting in Australia is pretty tough.
“Alastair and I always said we should get paid more than everyone else, but he’s a strong player who can play shots all around the wicket, plays spin well and he’s been waiting a long time for this chance.
“He’s been stuck for a while behind Alastair and myself, which was bad timing in a way, and he’s had some health issues. Nick Compton got an opportunity and he’s still been waiting.”
However, if Carberry were to open the batting with current skipper Alastair Cook, it would mean that England’s 22-year-old prodigy, Joe Root, would have to be demoted down the order.
But, Strauss doesn’t believe that is a bad move since Root has had a lot of success coming in at number six.
“Joe Root is a young guy, he’s still part of the side and he’s had a phenomenal start to his career,” Strauss said. “He’ll be very motivated to show his qualities and they are obvious to me.
“Either opening or batting at No 5, Joe is an outstanding cricketer. It’s his first tour of Australia, a learning experience and in some ways it’s easier for him to be doing that down the order.”
Strauss is also confident that Cook will have a far better series with the bat after only managing to amass 277 runs at a dismal average of 27.70 in the last Ashes series.
“Alastair’s had a lot on his shoulders,” Strauss said. “He had a back injury in the run-up to that game, didn’t have the best series with the bat in the last Ashes series, so this was a good reminder of the world class batsman he is.
“It will make him feel better about himself, no doubt.”