Michael Carberry has been backed to fire himself into Ashes reckoning this summer.
The Hampshire batsman’s name has been thrust forward as a possible opening partner for skipper Alastair Cook in the wake of Nick Compton’s indifferent run of form during the Test series win over New Zealand.
And former Hampshire skipper and England Test spinner, Shaun Udal, believes his ex-county team-mate Carberry should be given the nod to face Australia to add to his one Test cap.
Udal said: ‘Carberry is in fantastic form. He’s a great cricketer and has been for a number of seasons.
‘If they are going to pick a guy in form, then Carberry is the man.
‘I think there is an issue with the way Compton has got out and he has been bowled a lot. He looks out of form.
‘Some have suggested pushing Joe Root up to open the batting, but I would leave him where he is for now.
‘Carberry deserves another go and I’m sure he’d be up to the job if he gets a call.
‘I would have no hesitation in sticking him in there at the top of the order, but whether the selectors will do that at the start of an Ashes campaign, I don’t know.’
Udal himself witnessed the 32-year-old’s hot form when the left-hander blitzed 150 not out in the recent YB40 win over Lancashire.
And the former spinner shrugged off any fears about Carberry’s age.
Udal said: ‘It was an amazing innings and I was there to see it myself.
‘Age shouldn’t be an issue if you are scoring runs, you are in form and you are fit.
‘Carberry is incredibly fit and has come back from his health scare so there are no issues on that front.’