Australia in England 2012-13 September 12, 2013

England give Carberry backing


England will stick with Michael Carberry as opener for the remainder of the NatWest series despite poor returns from his first three ODIs.

Carberry has scored only 15 runs in three innings in a disappointing start to his one-day international career, following a superb season for Hampshire. But, in the absence of regular openers, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, he will have at least two more chances to stake his claim for a long-term spot at the top of the order.

Having made 10 on debut against Ireland in Dublin, Carberry played a poor stroke to fall for just 4 against Australia at Old Trafford before being run out for 1 in the rain-ruined third ODI at Edgbaston.

"He's had a bit of a hard time of it to be honest." England's stand-in captain, Eoin Morgan, said. "But he's experienced enough to know that it's swings and roundabouts. We've 100 percent backing for 'Carbs' at the moment, because we've seen how hard he works and the success he's had.

"We'd like to see that over the next two games. But if not he's always got his basics to fall back on - and go again."

If Carberry's dismissal in Manchester was careless - slapping a well-timed cut stroke straight to Michael Clarke at backward point - there was an element of misfortune in his departure at Edgbaston, when he was run out in a mix-up with Kevin Pietersen.

Morgan said it was the last thing Carberry needed. "I don't think it's anybody's fault," he said. "There's always miscommunication in a run-out, and I think we can leave it up to those two to sort things out. They're fine. They've known each for years and played at Hampshire together."

Carberry has returned to international cricket three years after his Test debut in Chittagong but has so far displayed none of the form that earned him a recall. Carberry enjoyed an outstanding domestic season in limited-overs cricket, with 502 Friends Life t20 runs at 55.77 and 471 at 47.10 in the Yorkshire Bank 40.

"He's fine," Morgan said. "Obviously he'd have liked to get runs. He's quite anxious to get stuck in, and prove the type of player he is. But you're going to be disappointed with a couple of low scores."

Carberry is part of an experimental England squad selected with a view to developing younger players for the 2015 World Cup, as well as rest members of the Test set-up. The squad has come under criticism for short-changing supporters, criticism which gained credence after England were totally outplayed in an 88-run defeat in the second ODI - so far the only fixture to be completed. Nevertheless, Morgan insists winning the five-match series is England's priority.

"Obviously, it's a good opportunity to blood young players, but we're out to win," he said. "For us, it's now a semi-final and final - that's the way we're going to treat it. We need to come out and up our game and our intensity.

"There's not a lot of motivation the guys need. We haven't played very much cricket, and the guys are keen to get on the park and do well. There is a lot of energy flowing around."

England appeared to be a bowler light in both Dublin, where they conceded 269, and Manchester, where Australia racked up 315 on what was considered a sluggish wicket. But given the lack of cricket so far in the NatWest series, England may well stick with their formula for the fourth ODI in Cardiff on Saturday.

Morgan was satisfied with his side for Edgbaston, despite defeat three days before. "We felt it was our best XI. We picked it in the last game and we didn't think there was anything drastic that needed changing. So we stuck with it. If we feel that a change needs to be made, either on conditions or performance, we'll make it."

Of the changes England could make, only Luke Wright offers any experience. He could replace one of the batsmen but that appears unlikely, with England having completed only one innings so far in the series.

A change to the bowling attack would see debuts for either Jamie Overton of Somerset or Sussex's Chris Jordan.

"Jamie is 19 years old, and has spent quite a lot of time around the group now over the last week or so. That's hugely beneficial," Morgan said. "I wish I'd had that opportunity when I was 19. He has bowled well in the nets. 'Jords' in particular - with his all-round skills - has surprised me massively. He's a very athletic guy."

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 14, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    I have seen car bury playing for Domestic season of England. He is a good positive player n I m sure he will do it today for Eng....

  • John on September 13, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    I certainly would not want to deny Carberry a run in the side but it seems to go against their developing young players policy. Is he that much better than guys like Hales and Kieswetter in shorter formats.

    There have been other older form players who have never or nit for a long time been picked in shorter formats - guys like Trego (not that old) , Stevens (before his off field probs) and Foster to name 3. Nixon was the last older player to be tried (in my scatty memory) and he did a nice job.Personally I'd prefer England to be playing the best (non test playing) players in the shorter formats regardless of age as opposed to using the formats to integrate younger players who are not suited to shorter formats - maybe Woakes and Overton ... Nice that Carbs has the backing although we all know one player recently dropped from the test arena and at least 2 players in the shorter formats who seem to have been totally shunned.

  • Tim on September 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    At least Trott isn't the only 32 year old struggling.

  • anton on September 13, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Carberry will play with a view to playing the T20 world cup and the ODI world cup and then making way for younger players. He will be 33 and 34 when those events take place. 34 is no problem as far age is concerned. If the world cup was 3 years away then, yes, I definitely would have overlooked him, but it is only a year and a half away. I think another few matches and he will have overcome his nerves. Lumb, Hales, Carberry, KP, Wright would be a devastating top 5 in T20.

  • Steve on September 13, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Carberry or any other player in his position should be given few more chances to prove. Being a late bloomer, one can expect him to be too anxious to show his worth which can also put too much pressure on himself. Having said that, I am also a bit concerned that he is nearing 33 and may not have a long time at the top that Eng should be looking now.

  • anton on September 13, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Carberry should play the rest of series and be taken to Australia for the ODIs and T20s at least. He has been playing brillinatly the alst 2/3 years in the county game. Just look at Jaques Kallis' record after 7 or 8 test matches. It was very ordinary. He could have been jettisoned once for all at the time. Thankfully the selectors kept faith and he has gone to be, in my books, the 2nd greatest allrounder of all time behind Gary Sobers.

    He has had one run out and some unplayable deliveries from Mitchell Johnson.

  • Rod on September 13, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Nothing personal against Carbs but short form cricket is mostly a young man's game. If he's really been told he's in for the series, then I'd say he's shown some mental frailty so far as well as having a slice of bad luck. I really hope he grabs the rest of the opportunity but I fear he won't, and, if I am right, England will lose both the ODI series and wreck whatever confidence he has (left) that he's a bona fide international player. Morgan has said all the right things and been as supportive as he can but the fact is that the elite players tend to deliver under pressure and he hasn't been able to yet. It's unfair to say that there's no place for him on the grounds of age because players should get in the side on form. However, he has demonstrated that he is slightly less nimble in the field than some of his teammates and, though the same could be said of Chris Gayle for the West Indies, Gayle is a proven match winner, whereas Carberry has yet to win a match for England.

  • James on September 13, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    @Con Tringas, Aussies never really 'try out' anyone, the philisophy - which we seem to have gone away from but coming back to - has always been to pick the best players, whether he is 18 or 34. That's why Ponting was selected so young, not because he was young because he was performing the best, also that's why Hussey was selected, not because he was experienced because he was performing!

  • Peter on September 13, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    I don't know why people are talking about 20/20 and ODI as a means to get selected for the Ashes, you get selected for test cricket on 4 day form not 20/20 or ODI form. If players got selected on 20/20 form we'd have Hales replacing Cook at the top of the order considering he is the number 1 ranked T20 player in the world at the moment.

    As for Carbs, I have already made my position clear, It's a missed opportunity to see someone who has a realistic chance of being an opener long term. At very nearly 33yrs old Carberry's selection seems more like a well done for a good domestic T20 season rather than looking at a future England player.

  • o on September 13, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Good to see them give him backing for the series you'd expect they would of told him before series began to take a bit of pressure off. It's not exactly easy to come into this end of season Odi series with the excitement of the Ashes over terrible weather and a roaring Mitchell Johnson lookin to get back in Test side coming at you but I still back Carbs to come good. I think they're looking to see if he could be taken as back up in Aus with faster pitches and his ability to cut play of back foot. I'd really like to see him in T20 though even with Hales Lumb opening he should be playing look at the OZ side they have 4 power openers in the top 4 in T20 Warner,Finch,Watson,Marsh I feel England should do the same on return and in next world cup !