ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Haddin answers Carey injury scenario
Australia enter the World Cup without a back-up gloveman in their squad, but fielding coach and former gloveman Brad Haddin is unfazed
Louis Cameron in Southampton
25 May 2019, 11:01 AM AEST
It's the one area of their World Cup squad Australia may have left themselves short in and fielding coach Brad Haddin admits their lack of a back-up wicketkeeper could leave them with a "big decision" to make.
Alex Carey has made a swift rise through Australian cricket ranks, last summer being named vice-captain of the limited-overs side despite a relative lack of experience at international level.
The fact national selectors didn't feel the need to include a reserve keeper in their squad for the forthcoming World Cup was a huge vote of confidence in Carey, with top-order batsman and part-time gloveman Peter Handscomb missing inclusion.
There's no suggestion Carey's spot will come under scrutiny over the coming weeks, but an injury that forces the 27-year-old to miss at least one game would put Australia in a tricky situation.
Aaron Finch has filled in for Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades at domestic level, while David Warner once stood in for Haddin during a Test match in 2014, but throwing the gloves to either of them for a full 50 overs would be a drastic option.
Haddin, the former keeper who helped Australia to the 2015 World Cup title, remains in top physical shape but ruled himself out of a comeback.
Asked who would take the gloves if injury strikes Carey during the tournament, Haddin said to laughter: "I'm not keeping.
"We've got an option that Finchy can grab the gloves, Davey (Warner) can grab them at a pinch as well … but it's a big decision if it happens."
It's hardly unheard of for Australia to pick only one keeper in their World Cup squad.
Haddin was the sole gloveman in their 2015 triumph, though that was on their home soil meaning a replacement was never far away, while Adam Gilchrist was the only specialist in 1999, the last time the tournament was held in the United Kingdom.
If Carey were to suffer an injury forces him to miss multiple games, Australia would likely have to make the brutal call of replacing him in their squad for the remainder of the tournament.
International Cricket Council regulations dictate that teams can make changes to their 15-man squad mid-tournament, but they can't later recall the player who has been replaced.
If an injury to Carey were to happen on the morning of a match, Australia would have to throw the gloves to Finch or Warner and hope for the best.
But such a call could potentially put those players, two of Australia's best one-day batters, in a dangerous spot.
Finch has previously pointed out that non-specialist wicketkeepers put themselves at extra risk of injury when filling in behind the stumps.
"It's a very dangerous position and is a specialist position at the end of the day," Finch said in 2017 in response to questions about the inflexibility of concussion substitute rules.
"If someone's in there who's not qualified or doesn't have the right tools to do the job, then it becomes even more dangerous."
Both Handscomb and former Australia gloveman Matthew Wade, fresh off a stunning domestic season, will be in the United Kingdom by mid-June for a five-match Australia A one-day tour.
Test skipper and keeper Tim Paine will lead the four-day squad from July 7.
"We've got our Australia A team nearing us during this tournament, so we've got enough cover there if it's a serious injury," said Haddin.
Haddin suggested keepers generally suffer injuries that are severe enough to rule them out for an extended period of time, rather than minor blows that might keep them out for a game or two.
"Keepers don't get just niggles. They either get really serious injuries or they just get on with it," said the 41-year-old, who was noted for his physical toughness during his 66-Test, 126-ODI career.
"With a bit of luck, he (Carey) can get through the tournament. He's as fit a man as we have in the squad, both mentally and physically.
"But fingers crossed that doesn't happen."