Carberry backed to lay foundations for Ashes glory

England's Alastair Cook, left, and Michael Carberry, right, after a net session at the Gabba, Brisbane
England's Alastair Cook, left, and Michael Carberry, right, after a net session at the Gabba, Brisbane
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Michael Carberry will rise to the challenge of his fiery Ashes baptism.

That is the verdict of Jimmy Adams, who reckons his Hampshire team-mate has all the weapons to counter a new-ball barrage when England renew their Test rivalry with Australia in Brisbane tonight (midnight).

And the Ageas Bowl skipper is confident the 33-year-old’s studious character and mental strength will prove the launchpad for a third-consecutive successful defence of the urn in the five-match series.

Brilliant one-day form for Hampshire has breathed new life into Carberry’s Test career, which had threatened to stall after his sole cap against Bangladesh in 2010.

Adams admits it is not the usual pathway into Andy Flower’s five-day line-up, but he is certain his fellow left-hander will prove his worth in the longer form of the game.

Mitchell Johnson has been recalled to the Australia side, with the hosts attempting to expose a perceived England weakness against fast, short-pitched bowling.

The hosts certainly believe they can bounce Jonathan Trott out, and, if selected, Carberry can expect a similar onslaught as they bid to intimidate the returning man.

But Adams insists those tactics will not faze his pal, who has notched an unbeaten ton and two half-centuries in the warm-up games, when he takes the field at the Gabba.

‘Carbs has certainly done all he can and I would be amazed if he doesn’t get the nod tonight,’ said the Hampshire captain.

‘He will be fully prepared but whoever you are, whether it is Sachin Tendulkar or (England skipper) Alastair Cook, you need a little bit of luck early on. Fingers crossed he gets that at the Gabba.

‘Carbs has got as good a game as anyone to counter the conditions in Australia. He won’t be fazed by it.

‘In fact, he revels in that sort of challenge. He is a strong all-round player but he is a very strong cross-bat player, too.

‘The thing which will really help him is his method. He has a very clear plan and is similar to Alastair Cook in terms of his mental strength. That will be the most important factor.

‘I really hope Carbs gets the start that will lead to better things.’

Adams has known Carberry since their days playing youth cricket.

The former Surrey and Kent batsman joined Hampshire in 2006, and Adams revealed he was immediately impressed.

He said: ‘I played a lot of youth cricket against Carbs – and with him at certain points, too.

‘We didn’t cross paths so much when he went and played for Kent.

‘But I remember him turning up at one of the first winter sessions after he had signed for us and thinking he must have spent three years in the gym!

‘He was just in really good shape. A big, strong lad.

‘He has always been an incredible student of the game. He loves spending time thinking about ways to improve and build on stuff.

‘Now he has settled into a senior-player role and has revelled in being able to pass on what he has learned.

‘Carbs has played cricket with some great players. He started off at Surrey in a changing room with the likes of Graham Thorpe and Alec Stewart and spent a bit of time with (Mark) Ramprakash as well.

‘He is now very keen to pass on their nuggets of wisdom and also his own.’

Carberry made 34 and 30 on his Test debut against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2006.

The Ashes begin in Brisbane tonight, with matches at the Adelaide Oval, the WACA in Perth and the Melbourne Cricket Ground before the series climaxes in Sydney on January 3-7.