Alex Carey has been added to Australia’s Ashes squad and will make his Test debut when the series begins next week at the Gabba in Brisbane.
The wicketkeeper had been expected to replace Tim Paine behind the stumps after the former captain stood down from all cricket in the wake of the texting scandal that has overshadowed Australia’s preparations for the series.
After being added to the 15-man squad, Carey said he was “humbled” by the opportunity to represent his country in the longest form of the game.
“It’s an exciting build-up for what is a huge series ahead,” he said. “My focus is on preparing and playing my part in helping Australia secure the Ashes.”
Carey has been a regular member of the national side in white ball cricket and has represented Australia in 45 one-day internationals and 38 T20 matches. Earlier this year he served as stand-in ODI skipper.
He was overlooked for the T20 World Cup as selectors opted for Josh Inglis as reserve keeper, allowing him plenty of opportunity to state his Test case in domestic cricket.
His form with the bat had been largely underwhelming – he made 50 in just one of eight Sheffield Shield innings – until a timely century for South Australia on Sunday boosted his chances of a call-up.
His selection comes after the uncapped Inglis returned home to Western Australia this week. Inglis is instead expected to play for Australia A in a tour match against the England Lions.
National selection panel chair George Bailey said the 30-year-old Carey was a deserved recipient of baggy green cap No 461.
“He is an excellent cricketer and a fine individual who will bring many great strengths into the team,” he said.
Carey, who will speak to the media later on Thursday, said earlier in the week a call-up to the Test team would be a “young kid’s dream come true”.