Carbs backed to get Test motor running

Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall

Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tom Alsop hit an unbeaten century. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tommy guns down the Spitfires

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Gordon Greenidge has passed on some words of wisdom to Michael Carberry ahead of The Ashes and told him: Seize your opportunity.

The legendary former Hampshire opener watched the current incumbent turn in some fine displays for the county last season to fire himself back into the England set-up.

Carberry was named in the squad to defend the famous urn next month but he faces a tough battle to get into the line-up in Australia.

But Greenidge believes an opportunity will arise and then it will be down to the talented left-hander to take it when it comes along.

Greenidge said: ‘I’ve met Mike a few times and I watched him get runs in a one-day game.

‘We always have a brief chat when I see him.

‘He has been playing well for Hampshire and hopefully he can go on to do well for England as well.

‘Sometimes things happen for people in the most unusual way.

‘He may not get a chance to start but some guys may develop an injury and he may get the opportunity.

‘When he does, I hope he grabs it with both hands.

‘He looks confident enough to do this and now it’s up to him.’

Carberry looks like he will be vying for an opening spot with Joe Root, although there could yet be a reshuffle in the batting line-up.

And Greenidge, who scored more than 7,500 Test runs for West Indies, believes age is no barrier even though the Hampshire star has just turned 33 years old.

Greenidge said: ‘It’s never too late. Once you get that opportunity, it’s never too late to make a name for yourself.

‘Establishing yourself is never easy and there will always be comparisons with other players.

‘But you’ve got to try to erase that from your mind and just do what you can do.

‘I would like him to go on and be as dominant in the longer version of the game as he has been in one-day cricket.

‘That would stand him in good stead.

‘Sometimes when you get in that frame of mind for one-day cricket, it’s difficult to get out of it.

‘But when you develop skills over a longer period, they stay with you.’

Greenidge cast his mind back to his own Test debut in India in 1974 and felt focus was the key to him nailing down a place in an almost invincible West Indies team of the era.

He said: ‘My opportunity came along in India and maybe that helped me.

‘Not everybody liked to tour the Asian sub-continent but for me it was good because there were not the same kind of distractions you would get playing in Australia, England or the Caribbean.

‘So you focused solely on the job at hand.

‘But I knew I had to establish myself. I got my chance and it went from there.’

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