When Alex Carey hit his first Test century, it was a telling moment.
Alex Carey had his head down as he ran for the first of three runs after square-driving Marco Jansen, but Cameron Green, who was at bat with him, had both arms in the air in celebration. Carey’s party wasn’t as big as David Warner’s on the second day. Carey had a lot to be proud of, though. Carey was the first wicketkeeper from Australia to score a century in a Test since 2013 and only the seventh in history.
But as a cricketer, Carey doesn’t have showmanship or a need for praise in his genes. He is more likely to talk about his best moments as an Australian Rules football player who used to play professionally. As a cricket player, he is quiet and low-key. He has become Australia’s drummer, and he is a very reliable and well-liked one.
Before the Ashes last year, there were worries about who would take Tim Paine’s place. Even though Carey had been the back-up for a long time, some people in Australian cricket wondered if he was the right choice, given the raw talent of Josh Inglis or the consistency of Jimmy Peirson. Even after a year on the job, this feeling hasn’t gone away.
But it will be gone now that Australia has played a classy century that has all but given them the MCG Test. In terms of replacing Paine, Carey has always been a big step up as a batter, both in terms of his record at first-class level and his skills. This is because Paine was a good fielder and a good leader during a tough time.
All of these skills were shown in Carey’s first Test century. He showed off his elegance, power, and wide range of strokes.
Carey unfazed as wickets fall around him
He did benefit from the fact that the South African attack was tired. He walked out when Australia was ahead by 176 runs and the score was 363 for 3 in the 85th over at the end of a 37-degree day. But early on day three, Australia’s innings looked like it might fall apart. Travis Head and David Warner were both hit hard by Anrich Nortje in the same ball. Four balls later, Kagiso Rabada caught Pat Cummins from behind. Carey was 16 not out when everything happened, and Australia was ahead by 213 runs.
But Carey didn’t care and hit one of the best shots of the game. It was a square drive with anchored feet that was part Gilchrist and part Lara and came off a Nortje rocket. From there, he made the whole set. There were uppercuts over third, controlled check-drives down the ground, reverse-sweeps and sweeps off Keshav Maharaj, and lots of pulls and cuts.
He made a great team with Green, who bravely played through a broken finger to score an unbeaten fifty and a 117-run stand with Carey that made South Africa lose hope.
“I didn’t think he would drop out of the race today,” Carey said of Green after the game. “But to see him put on a brave face, bat beautifully, and let me bat as well… allowed us to put on a really good partnership.”
The way they go together is great, and it shows. In ten Test innings together, they have scored 511 runs at an average of 51.10 per stand, with two hundred-run partnerships. It has just the right amount of both yin and yang. A short batter on the left and a tall batter on the right make them hard to bowl at. But their personalities and ways of playing go well together. Green is always worried and always asking his partner what the bowlers and the pitch are doing. Carey is the exact opposite. He keeps things simple and keeps Green from getting upset. But Green’s focus on the details keeps Carey from leaving. Green comes out of his shell when Carey is busy and wants to switch and score. Green’s good defense and stubbornness sometimes remind Carey to find the right pace for his batting in a Test match and that he doesn’t need to score on every ball.
“I think we go up and down really well at times,” Carey said. “Today, it was probably more on me to score than on him to keep going, but he did an amazing job of both. I’m not sure how to really explain it. I think that with some guys, you just feel calm and sure of yourself. So far, it’s been fun, and if he can make a few more big deals, he’ll get his ton.”
They put together partnerships that won games in Lahore and Galle earlier this year, and this one is likely to do the same, even though it won’t be the most important one.
Carey remains team-first, and the team loves him for it
Because of these partnerships, Green decided to throw a surprise party for his friend’s big day. But Carey has also been praised for how selfless he has been as a Test batter. People have been quick to point to his average as a reason why Carey shouldn’t be assumed to be Australia’s wicketkeeper, especially since his glovework has been criticized.
But Carey’s generosity at the plate hasn’t gone unnoticed on the team, even if it has in other places. In his first year of Test cricket, he has given up his wicket four times to help his team move the game along. If you take out those innings, his average would be over 40.
And making gloves is still his top priority. Even though he wasn’t out with the bat the night before day three at the MCG, he spent the first part of his warm-up catching spin in the nets as practice for keeping long periods to Nathan Lyon in the second innings.
Carey later caught Dean Elgar off Cummins with a great catch down the leg side. But since Australia is going to lose Green at No. 6 for the Sydney Test, his century gives them more options.
Carey’s three first-class centuries and his one ODI century all came when he batted in the top six. He has a first-class century when batting at No. 5 for South Australia against Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon from New South Wales. Since Matthew Wade almost ten years ago, Australia hasn’t picked a wicketkeeper to bat at No. 6 on purpose.
“I’ll jump at any chance I get to help the Australian cricket team,” Carey said.
He always puts the team before himself, and his team is thankful for that.
1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy
On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.
Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs
Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.
Sachin Tendulkar with god of cricket Virat Kohli pic.twitter.com/zmztejNBBB— Kevin (@imkevin149) November 2, 2023
An Unforgettable Journey
In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.
Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets
Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.
A Landmark Moment
In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.
Surpassing Preceding Records
Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Legacy of Excellence
Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.
Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
A Testament to Talent and Dedication
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.
ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.
India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation
In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.
India’s Path to World Cup Glory
Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.
Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism
Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli
Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.
In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.
In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.