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Carey on his reverse sweeps: 'It will be my downfall at times, I'll have success with it at times'

He batted positively in Nagpur, but fell to Ashwin trying one of his favourite shots in both innings

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
14-Feb-2023
Alex Carey was adventurous in his 36 off 33, India vs Australia, Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 1st Test, Nagpur, 1st day, February 9, 2023

In Nagpur, Carey was out to the reverse sweep in both innings  •  Getty Images

Alex Carey's wife Eloise is not a big fan of his reverse sweep as he revealed in Sri Lanka last year. After falling twice to it in Nagpur, he got another stern reminder from his better half and he's vowed to use it more judiciously in the series.
Proactivity has been the buzzword around the Australia batting group both before and after the disastrous innings defeat India inside three days. But Carey admits he probably took it a little too far. He played the most proactive innings of the match in the first innings on day one. He got off the mark with a reverse sweep and raced to 36 off just 32 balls with seven boundaries.
But he fell off his 33rd delivery trying a reverse sweep off R Ashwin, only to drag into onto his stumps. It was also his downfall in the second innings having got off the mark with conventionally swept boundaries off his first two balls.
"Maybe the first innings execution [was the problem] and the second innings [I was] just trying to have a different method to the guys before me," Carey said. "It will be my downfall at times, I'll have success with it at times. It's finding the right balance, when is the right time to play like that. My wife's been onto me quite a bit about it so you might not see it for a little while (laughs).
"[I was] maybe a little bit too keen to play a different style, but I guess in my first Test over here that's not a bad learning to have. Hopefully, I can find that balance along with all our players as well. We obviously want to be proactive, be calm and patient, and we had a pretty good look at that first-hand with a few of their players."
Having reviewed his performance with the bat on Sunday he was back at training at the VCA Stadium on Monday to work on his batting again. After admitting he may have overplayed the conditions, he worked on some conventional strokeplay and his defence.
"Probably you can fall into over-playing conditions and certain names and what you see before you when go out to bat as well," Carey said. "For myself today I went back to batting more than anything else and reacting to what's being bowled down at me and trusting that method as well."
"At times it might be fast-forward mode but also [Ravindra] Jadeja and Axar [Patel] showed as well you can be pretty patient."
While Carey's batting in India is a work in progress, his keeping was very impressive on a challenging surface. He stood up to the stumps to Scott Boland which played a role in a pivotal spell on the second morning, where Boland was able to dry up the runs and help Todd Murphy bag two wickets. He also took an outstanding leg-side catch off Murphy to dismiss Virat Kohli.
"It's exciting for me behind the stumps," Carey said. "The ball is going to be up, it's going to be down. I might have to keep up to some of the quicks even though they don't like it that much. It was a great first taste of it. Hopefully, we don't have to do 150 overs too many times and we can get on top of India like they did to us. I enjoyed the experience and [I'm] probably expecting that type of wicket throughout the series."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo