Australia A v England XI, Tour match, Hobart November 6, 2013

Warne was my saviour - Carberry

Michael Carberry delivered the big hundred of which Shane Warne said he was capable - and then credited Warne with rescuing his county career
30

Shane Warne's recognition of a young Michael Carberry's talents at Hampshire was the making of him as a first-class batsman. Now Warne's endorsement at the start of the Ashes tour seems to have helped blow the winds of cricketing fortune in Carberry's direction as he emerges as the apparent answer to the dual England batting problems of the last series against Australia.

Amid countless quotable lines about Ricky Ponting, Alastair Cook and George Bailey, among others, Warne had posited the view that Carberry stood a far better chance of ensuring solid openings for England's batting on the tour than the younger right-hander Joe Root. While Warne's emotive use of "crucifying" to outline the risk of keeping Root at the top grabbed most of the initial attention, his supportive words about Carberry seem to have mirrored the thinking of the team director Andy Flower.

Retained to open alongside Cook in Hobart while Root was shuffled down to No. 5, Carberry set about his task grandly, and by the close of play had all but guaranteed his Brisbane berth by batting all day in the company of his captain. This allows Root to avoid the perils of the new ball and also bolster a middle order that stumbled at times in the earlier Ashes meeting.

Carberry credits Warne with giving him the early impetus to find himself as a county batsman after frustrating stints at Kent and Surrey. "Shane Warne is basically the reason why I got a chance to play Test cricket," he said. "I was a young guy who was a little bit lost in county cricket, didn't really get an opportunity. I came to Hampshire and from day one he made me feel very much at home. He gave me the backing I think any young player needs and allowed me to play a brand of cricket I wanted to play.

"He was very influential in me doing what I've done and getting the chance to play for England a few years on. The times I've caught up with him, he has always had very kind things to say about my game, I still keep in contact with him, even though he might be overseas. He's always been a great friend to me."

That friendship helped Carberry through a career not lacking in difficulty, most notably when a blood clot on the lung ruled him out of the game for an extended period in 2010, soon after he had made his Test debut alongside Cook in Bangladesh. The ailment not only kept Carberry out of contention for the 2010-11 Ashes tour but threatened his entire career. He emerged from it stronger, wiser and with a balanced outlook.

"It's been well documented that I have had some tough times off the field, but by the grace of God I'm here to enjoy what I'm doing now," he said. "When things like that happen it gives you perspective on your cricket, maybe to relax more and try to enjoy the game for what it is, rather than as young players perhaps putting pressure on yourself to try and get where you want to get to. If you do the processes right you'll get there.

"I came here with pretty much a blank canvas. I try to be flexible, to do whatever job is put in front of me for the team. If it's to be opening great, if it's to bat down the order even better. Nothing much was explained to me, I was just told 'Carbs you're going in with Cooky' and that was good enough for me. I set my mind as any opener does to see off the new ball, which was going to be the biggest threat on that wicket, and then try to bat through the day."

Aiding Carberry this day was an indifferent display by Australia A's bowlers, who tended to drop too short especially with the new ball. The wicketkeeper Tim Paine admitted as much after play, pointing out that a better attack might have been able to test Carberry more fully in the gully region, where he offered numerous edges as it was.

"We thought we were probably half a sniff around that gully region if we bowled the right length to him," Paine said. "We just couldn't get one to go to hand today, but he's obviously a class player. He is opening the batting for England and they're a very good side. If he does play in the Ashes he'll be hard to get out, but there is an area there definitely: if you stack up your gully region I think at some point you'll get a chance."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Speng on November 7, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Yeah sure Carbs is batting well and could very do well for England in the upcoming series but at 33 does anyone think he'll do a Matty Hayden and have a great test career in his 30s? Or is Joe Root the future opener? If Root is the opener of the future he should get 15 tests to prove himself while he's surrounded by Cook, KP and Trott rather than chopping and changing. For an object lesson in how not to find an opening pair see the West Indies...

  • on November 7, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Warney is spot on about Carberry opening in the upcoming series, he would be a much safer bet than a shaky Joe Root. A mature and solid opener is what England need now....no more 30 for 3's please.

  • CantFindMyScreenName on November 7, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    You didn't have to be a rocket surgeon to notice in the last Ashes that Root has virtually no footwork, especially early on.

    He plays almost entirely from the crease. Brisbane, Perth etc. would have been a nightmare for him against the new ball. A brief nightmare, but a nightmare all the same.

  • on November 7, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    @Mitty2, Warney would have made a terrible captain of the great Aussie team- he is excellent to young players, but he does not have the personality or capacity to handle a group of extremely talented cricketers that Ponting managed. Warne's comments about Ponting were completely unfair, he was an excellent manager of men and was highly respected. Unlike Clarke and Warne.

  • simon_w on November 7, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    I'd rate Warne as the best player of all in my watching lifetime (from the early nineties), but since he's retired my respect for him has nosedived, as I've found his attention seeking, crass . Frankly (this Ponting stuff is a perfect example).

    These are strong words from Carberry, though, and they remind me that there are a hell of a lot of those who've met him who won't hear a word said against him, and more than a few who seem to real he's had a significant positive impact on their lives (not necessarily merely their careers). I really want to just straight-out dislike him, and I was getting there, but it's hard... :)

  • Redmakka on November 6, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    I reckon Shane Warne should be coach of Australia. I mean he coaches from the commentary box as it is and with him being in the dressing room he will inspire some of the current team to do better.

  • vishav100 on November 6, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    This guy should be givev credit, all the pressur was on him to perform today, everyone was watching, and it his chance to open or not be in the side. Imagine the pressure on the lad. Despite that, he's still scored an unbeaten 150. Root should probably be at 5 or 6, as he;s not a naturally opener, as Carberry played most of his carrer as an opener.

  • Liquefierrrr on November 6, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Warne's crystal ball works wonders again - thanks a LOT Warney, another Englishman who will thump us into submission this series.

    That said, Root is not a test opener and I'd say Flower would have addressed that long before (behind closed doors).

    Horrific bowling by Aus A - I'd love to say it was all a plan, false sense of security and all that lot, but it really isn't. Warne did so against Graeme Hick in the mid-90's, in the warm-up game, but we don't have anyone near that class.

    Worrying signs now, Australia must pray for injury as, once you scratch out 1 or 2 of this English lineup that which comes next is very, very wonky.

    Congratulations to Carberry and Cook, both scored at good rates and were ultimately rock-like.

    Cook is still a very average, defensive captain, but this is a bad sign given just how good he was as a batsman last time around.

    'Tough times are a coming' reads the inevitable headline.

  • Kapcharlie on November 6, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    No doubt Warnie is very popular in England, especially Hampshire. If Carberry as an opener, and Root as No 6 go on to have a great series in retaining the Ashes he'll be even more popular but probably a lot less popular in Oz ! I doubt Glenn McGrath (5-0 Oz) will send him a thank you note. Hilarious...

  • on November 6, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Warne has only stated an opinion and that is what he gets paid handsomely to do. Thousands and Thousands of England fans agree Root is best suited down the order. Root struggled opening in the last ashes and a mediocre Australia had England in trouble on a number of occasions. A better team would have went on to punish the the poor starts England had and could have easily won the series. Johnny Bairstow did not look comfortable at any time in the last series. That said Root at 6 and Carberry openinging is the most logical option and with Trott looking to have sorted out his troubles and Bell still on fire and KP to come it looks as if it is going to be a miserable summer for Australia. Don't forget they have to take 20 wickets in a match three times to win the series. I for one can't see that happening.

  • Speng on November 7, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Yeah sure Carbs is batting well and could very do well for England in the upcoming series but at 33 does anyone think he'll do a Matty Hayden and have a great test career in his 30s? Or is Joe Root the future opener? If Root is the opener of the future he should get 15 tests to prove himself while he's surrounded by Cook, KP and Trott rather than chopping and changing. For an object lesson in how not to find an opening pair see the West Indies...

  • on November 7, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Warney is spot on about Carberry opening in the upcoming series, he would be a much safer bet than a shaky Joe Root. A mature and solid opener is what England need now....no more 30 for 3's please.

  • CantFindMyScreenName on November 7, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    You didn't have to be a rocket surgeon to notice in the last Ashes that Root has virtually no footwork, especially early on.

    He plays almost entirely from the crease. Brisbane, Perth etc. would have been a nightmare for him against the new ball. A brief nightmare, but a nightmare all the same.

  • on November 7, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    @Mitty2, Warney would have made a terrible captain of the great Aussie team- he is excellent to young players, but he does not have the personality or capacity to handle a group of extremely talented cricketers that Ponting managed. Warne's comments about Ponting were completely unfair, he was an excellent manager of men and was highly respected. Unlike Clarke and Warne.

  • simon_w on November 7, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    I'd rate Warne as the best player of all in my watching lifetime (from the early nineties), but since he's retired my respect for him has nosedived, as I've found his attention seeking, crass . Frankly (this Ponting stuff is a perfect example).

    These are strong words from Carberry, though, and they remind me that there are a hell of a lot of those who've met him who won't hear a word said against him, and more than a few who seem to real he's had a significant positive impact on their lives (not necessarily merely their careers). I really want to just straight-out dislike him, and I was getting there, but it's hard... :)

  • Redmakka on November 6, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    I reckon Shane Warne should be coach of Australia. I mean he coaches from the commentary box as it is and with him being in the dressing room he will inspire some of the current team to do better.

  • vishav100 on November 6, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    This guy should be givev credit, all the pressur was on him to perform today, everyone was watching, and it his chance to open or not be in the side. Imagine the pressure on the lad. Despite that, he's still scored an unbeaten 150. Root should probably be at 5 or 6, as he;s not a naturally opener, as Carberry played most of his carrer as an opener.

  • Liquefierrrr on November 6, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Warne's crystal ball works wonders again - thanks a LOT Warney, another Englishman who will thump us into submission this series.

    That said, Root is not a test opener and I'd say Flower would have addressed that long before (behind closed doors).

    Horrific bowling by Aus A - I'd love to say it was all a plan, false sense of security and all that lot, but it really isn't. Warne did so against Graeme Hick in the mid-90's, in the warm-up game, but we don't have anyone near that class.

    Worrying signs now, Australia must pray for injury as, once you scratch out 1 or 2 of this English lineup that which comes next is very, very wonky.

    Congratulations to Carberry and Cook, both scored at good rates and were ultimately rock-like.

    Cook is still a very average, defensive captain, but this is a bad sign given just how good he was as a batsman last time around.

    'Tough times are a coming' reads the inevitable headline.

  • Kapcharlie on November 6, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    No doubt Warnie is very popular in England, especially Hampshire. If Carberry as an opener, and Root as No 6 go on to have a great series in retaining the Ashes he'll be even more popular but probably a lot less popular in Oz ! I doubt Glenn McGrath (5-0 Oz) will send him a thank you note. Hilarious...

  • on November 6, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Warne has only stated an opinion and that is what he gets paid handsomely to do. Thousands and Thousands of England fans agree Root is best suited down the order. Root struggled opening in the last ashes and a mediocre Australia had England in trouble on a number of occasions. A better team would have went on to punish the the poor starts England had and could have easily won the series. Johnny Bairstow did not look comfortable at any time in the last series. That said Root at 6 and Carberry openinging is the most logical option and with Trott looking to have sorted out his troubles and Bell still on fire and KP to come it looks as if it is going to be a miserable summer for Australia. Don't forget they have to take 20 wickets in a match three times to win the series. I for one can't see that happening.

  • on November 6, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    As I see it England have three places to decide on, the most difficult is who is to take Bresnan's place.

    The batting decision seems more straightforward - and it comes down to the bowling - do they need Stokes at 6 or 7 (Prior at 6) in order to bolster the bowling, or not. Either Root opens with Stokes at 6/7 or Carberry opens with Root at 6. The latter is far the better batting option and fits with their recent belief in a 3 seamer attack, so I reckon that's the way they'll go.

    As for the bowler - Finn, Rankin or Tremlett? I'd go for Onions. :)

  • Albie_Hanekom on November 6, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    I think England fans who begrudge warney are bitter at the years of torment he inflicted upon their team so they take cheap shots at him and even make fun of Australian 'culture' to make themselves feel better. Warne's advice to open with Carberry was spot on and what about before the 2005 series when he kept pushing for Pietersen to play instead of Thorpe. Another spot on decision. Yeah, Shane isn't perfect and makes mistakes but who doesn't?

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on November 6, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    People keep saying Australian pitches will suit Root's style? C'mon, that's nonsense. He was all at sea in the last Ashes and I hardly think playing in Australia will make it any easier. I'm glad Carberry is getting a crack and Warne has a reputation for getting teams together, he did it with Hampshire and Rajastan, the latter where he helped bring on some great young Indian players.

  • on November 6, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    I swear warnie is going to never leave the spotlight...he is just going to opinion-ate his way into the record books. specially since that is what cricket is these days - talk.

  • 2MikeGattings on November 6, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Warne had a great influence at Hampshire, there's no doubt.

    If Carbs gets his chance I really hope he makes the best of it. Apart from his batting he is very handy in the field.

  • Optic on November 6, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @Mitty2 I'm sorry but as usual you're far from the truth when it comes to English cricket. When he was playing County cricket he was a fan favorite even at other Counties and was easily the most well liked Aussie international. Even when he started to move into the commentary booth he was informative and a good personality. Saying all that what happened last summer was cringeworthy and embarrassing for him with the way he acted he sounded like a child who didn't get his own way. Constantly picking fault with what everything England did no matter what they did. He wasn't even consistent with said criticism across the board. Even when he said something good about England, it was usually a back handed complement. He started nonsensical arguments with fellow commentators for no apparent reason, except that he seemed to be throwing a hissy fit. The fact is since Clarke became Captain, you know his best mate, he just couldn't stand to see him losing and he lost the plot on national TV.

  • Westmorlandia on November 6, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    I think Carberry is being understimated a bit here. He's a very good player, and most importantly for the Ashes he seems to have a very good mental attitude. Root does too, of course. I would like to see how Root does on Aussie pitches, but if the two batsmen are Root and Carberry then you could play them either way round (i.e. at 2 and 6) and it would be fine.

    If the Test was tomorrow, I don't see how Ballance could be picked, as he hasn't yet made runs for England. Carberry is doing just that, and what else are batsmen meant to do to succeed? Of course, Ballance has only played one innings on the tour so far, so it's still early. He might make a stack tomorrow.

  • on November 6, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    He's done well in Hobart but I don't think he should open with Cook in the test series. I still think England could do with either Stokes (as an all-round option) as well as a batsman or Ballance.

  • cloudmess on November 6, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    Not sure I agree with the England selectorial thinking here. They're falling into the old trap of being too reactionary (as well as being swayed by popular opinion). I don't think Root did that badly as opener in the last Ashes series (he scored 180 in one of his innings after all), and he had to go in on some spicy pitches - it's not as if top order batsmen like Cook or Trott did any better. The Australian pitches would have suited Root's style a bit more, as they would Johnny Bairstow's, who tends to hit through the line. Instead of which, a journeyman is now set to open. it's short-sighted thinking. Carberry is a fine county player, but he's not a test batsmen. He'll probably do ok, he'll survive for a series or 2, before being discarded as being too limited, with a test average in the high 20s. Root, on the other hand, has a great future, and could really have taken the game to the Aussies from no 2.

  • Truemans_Ghost on November 6, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    I have to agree with the anonymous poster below. A lot of the English have more affection for Warnie than any other modern Aussie cricketer. He was an ornament to the game when he played. OK, now he is provocative, but at least he has something interesting to say and in my view there is next to no one in the world who understands cricket better than him. He is also quite generous in his praise of non-Aussie players, even English ones, more often than you would think. We might treat Punter as a pantomime villain, but not Warne.

  • Chrisd04 on November 6, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    He has got 150 not out and is been criticised for it, a good knock under the pressure of taking his one chance to get in to the 1st test. Give the lad some credit.

  • gsingh7 on November 6, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    carberry was proved to be an average player in odi series earlier. he will be found out by aussie quicks pretty easily .so do root and cook who were below average in last ashes. only two batsmen who wud save or win ashes are bell and maverick kp. rest are just making up numbers.jimmy is vital for english hopes,swann will be belted like always in aus. faulkner and bailey and irrepressible harris are main men for aus who cud prevent 4th successive ashes defeat. but i severely doubt aus have in them to even draw this ashes. they are aptly ranked outside top 4 in tests .

  • Mitty2 on November 6, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    And also Phil Davies, the comments from many English fans during the Ashes series deriding Warne's commentary because he was the only one who wasn't an English supporter apart from the ever respectable Michael Holding and he tried to offer a different opinion. I'm sure those comments were done in jest as well.

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Mitty2 You're poorly informed. Warne is very popular amongst English cricket fans. Don't forget - or perhaps you just don't know - he spent many years at Hampshire including some as Captain and clearly gave his all to county cricket. If Poms were asked to name their favourite Aussie cricketer of the last few decades he'd probably top the list.

  • VillageBlacksmith on November 6, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    carberry is certainly not the answer, but he might 'do a job' like rogers did for oz and while someone else gets ready… and it's nice to hear him say nice things about warne, while warne likes to mouth off against the english in usual tedious oz ''fashion''… reminds me of gower's observation, ''how can there be a culture clash?''

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Warne's masterplan: get England to substitute a lesser player for Root in a meaningless match against a very weak attack, so that they then play him as opener against a much stronger attack who will then 'crucify' the lesser player and throw England's plans even further into disarray.

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Just because Warne said that England should do this does not mean that England are taking selection advice from him. It is frustrating that it is being reported this way. I am sure England thought about this possibility back in September if not earlier when they picked the squad.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 6, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @Mitty2 It is amazing the loyalties that playing a season or two of county cricket build up. with team-mates. In this case, I agreed with Warne, as did many other England fans.

    Shane Warne does tend to split opinion, but there was no question that he was a fine team man with Hampshire.

  • PrasPunter on November 6, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Why is warne helping Eng here ? Could have easily exposed Root as the opener.

  • Mitty2 on November 6, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    What English fans? Warne did something positive? I thought he was some nerve-hitting, attention-deprived, australian-biased, hating English, non-talented commentator with no knowledge of the game? I even heard a few saying Warne would've been a terrible captain, lol!

    Anyway Carberry's innings: leading edges, heaps of edges through the gully and heaps of plays and misses. What Paine says is most pertinent, especially when it's against a two man attack on a featherbed. Also noting Carberry's struggles against MJ in the ODI series.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Mitty2 on November 6, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    What English fans? Warne did something positive? I thought he was some nerve-hitting, attention-deprived, australian-biased, hating English, non-talented commentator with no knowledge of the game? I even heard a few saying Warne would've been a terrible captain, lol!

    Anyway Carberry's innings: leading edges, heaps of edges through the gully and heaps of plays and misses. What Paine says is most pertinent, especially when it's against a two man attack on a featherbed. Also noting Carberry's struggles against MJ in the ODI series.

  • PrasPunter on November 6, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Why is warne helping Eng here ? Could have easily exposed Root as the opener.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 6, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @Mitty2 It is amazing the loyalties that playing a season or two of county cricket build up. with team-mates. In this case, I agreed with Warne, as did many other England fans.

    Shane Warne does tend to split opinion, but there was no question that he was a fine team man with Hampshire.

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Just because Warne said that England should do this does not mean that England are taking selection advice from him. It is frustrating that it is being reported this way. I am sure England thought about this possibility back in September if not earlier when they picked the squad.

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Warne's masterplan: get England to substitute a lesser player for Root in a meaningless match against a very weak attack, so that they then play him as opener against a much stronger attack who will then 'crucify' the lesser player and throw England's plans even further into disarray.

  • VillageBlacksmith on November 6, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    carberry is certainly not the answer, but he might 'do a job' like rogers did for oz and while someone else gets ready… and it's nice to hear him say nice things about warne, while warne likes to mouth off against the english in usual tedious oz ''fashion''… reminds me of gower's observation, ''how can there be a culture clash?''

  • on November 6, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Mitty2 You're poorly informed. Warne is very popular amongst English cricket fans. Don't forget - or perhaps you just don't know - he spent many years at Hampshire including some as Captain and clearly gave his all to county cricket. If Poms were asked to name their favourite Aussie cricketer of the last few decades he'd probably top the list.

  • Mitty2 on November 6, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    And also Phil Davies, the comments from many English fans during the Ashes series deriding Warne's commentary because he was the only one who wasn't an English supporter apart from the ever respectable Michael Holding and he tried to offer a different opinion. I'm sure those comments were done in jest as well.

  • gsingh7 on November 6, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    carberry was proved to be an average player in odi series earlier. he will be found out by aussie quicks pretty easily .so do root and cook who were below average in last ashes. only two batsmen who wud save or win ashes are bell and maverick kp. rest are just making up numbers.jimmy is vital for english hopes,swann will be belted like always in aus. faulkner and bailey and irrepressible harris are main men for aus who cud prevent 4th successive ashes defeat. but i severely doubt aus have in them to even draw this ashes. they are aptly ranked outside top 4 in tests .

  • Chrisd04 on November 6, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    He has got 150 not out and is been criticised for it, a good knock under the pressure of taking his one chance to get in to the 1st test. Give the lad some credit.