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Alex Carey praised for his calmness but T20 captaincy remains up for grabs

Matthew Wade could stand in for the injured Aaron Finch during the series in Bangladesh

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Alex Carey's calm leadership was lauded by Australia coach Justin Langer after the 2-1 ODI series win over West Indies but he appears unlikely to retain the captaincy for the T20I series against Bangladesh.
Australia need to decide on a stand-in for the injured Aaron Finch who missed the ODIs in the Caribbean and was then ruled out of the Bangladesh leg due to a knee problem that is likely to require surgery.
Carey is much less secure of his place in the T20I set-up - he made 22 runs in three innings against West Indies after being recalled to the middle order - and it could be that Matthew Wade takes the captaincy against Bangladesh having previously stepped in for Finch against India last year.
Australia fly to Dhaka on a charter flight on Wednesday and a final decision will be taken over the next few days by Langer in consultation with selectors Trevor Hohns and George Bailey.
"We'll work through that," Langer said. "We want to be consistent with those decisions, hopefully we've shown over a period now that we're very consistent with how we're selecting teams and selecting leaders, and no doubt that, that'll be shown again when we get to the T20s in Bangladesh."
However, Carey's first stint in the role - having lost his position as shared vice-captaincy last year - will have done his credentials no harm when future captains are being assessed. Finch has previously said he would like to continue through to the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.
"I thought Alex's captaincy was outstanding," Langer said. "He's so calm and you can see it in his face when he bats. We've seen it through his career, but we saw it in that hundred he scored with Glenn Maxwell in England last year, to win when we were really under pressure, and even the way that he batted last night he just seemed so calm under pressure.
"As we know he's the ultimate professional, so therefore he's easy to work with as a captain because you know that he will tick every box. He'll make sure that all his due diligence is done on the opposition and he'll know how our players are travelling. So he was great to work with, I loved his calmness, loved his composure, I love what he brings on and off the field so he did a really really good job. He's very impressive in that role."
Carey could get another chance in the T20I middle order against Bangladesh with Australia's batting resources stretched due to Finch's absence and doubts over Ben McDermott after he injured his ankle diving into a boundary board in the second ODI. Due to travel difficulties and biosecure arrangements, replacements can't be called up.
Moises Henriques had a tough time with the bat in the West Indies but there is limited room for manoeuvre given both the travelling replacements, the uncapped Nathan Ellis and Tanveer Sangha, only provide bowling cover. Dan Christian and Ashton Turner did not feature in the last T20I against West Indies and will come back into the frame. With five matches in the space of seven days it is likely the fast bowlers will be rotated.
Australia will be looking to improve on their 4-1 loss against West Indies which included throwing away a winning position in the opening game and then they could not get on the board until the series was gone.
Mitchell Marsh was the biggest success in that series with 219 runs and eight wickets to push himself firmly into contention for the T20 World Cup even when the absent players are available again.
"Certainly Mitch Marsh has put his hand up. That No. 3 position is really interesting depending on how Steve Smith comes up with his elbow injury," Langer said. "That adds real depth to our play. I also thought the way Ashton Agar batted yesterday, [he] is certainly up there as a spin bowler and he's like a leopard in the field. I also liked the fact that he, Matthew Wade, and Alex Carey, the left handers in the middle…we thought moving into the World Cup we might be a bit short on left-hand batsman. But the way those guys have stood up is a huge bonus for us moving forward."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo