Carey misses DRS dolly to let Pakistan centurion Imam-ul-Haq off hook

Australia’s tough task in the field has been made yet tougher as keeper Alex Carey botched a routine DRS decision in their first innings against Pakistan.

Carey declined to review a catch that he himself took that could have seen Pakistan centurion Imam-ul-Haq dismissed on 143. He added a further 14 runs before being dismissed LBW by Pat Cummins.

Former Aussie keeper Brad Hogg described the Pakistan opener as “looking guilty” about the incident, with Imam choosing not to walk despite clearly hitting the ball.

Nathan Lyon beat Imam, who was going for the cut shot but toe-ended the ball directly into the gloves of Carey.

With Australia toiling in the field and Pakistan sitting pretty on 1/302 at lunch, it was not the sort of opportunity that the tourists could afford to miss.

There were two sounds and Australia immediately went up, before Alex Carey immediately played down any chance of a review when Iman was given not out on field.

Replays immediately showed a spike on ultra edge, meaning the on-field call would likely have been overturned had Australia requested a review.

Australia had two reviews remaining at the time, but later burned one on a caught behind review that was miles from the bat.

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Carey has been known for his poor record with DRS decisions in the past. His predecessor, Tim Paine, was perhaps even worse, but standards have barely picked up since Carey took the gloves.

Famously, Glenn Maxwell once joked about his indecisiveness in the limited overs format and said that the ODI team had an unofficial policy of not asking him.

“We made a rule not to ask Alex Carey about the DRS, because every time there’s an appeal he’s like ‘I don’t know’ and ‘not sure’,” said Maxwell in 2019. “He’s one of the most indecisive keepers I’ve ever seen in my life.”

His ODI captain, Aaron Finch, backed that up, telling Triple M when Carey was named to the Test squad that he was never trusted to make a call from behind the stumps.

“He is notorious for not having any idea about a DRS decision,” said Finch. “You’d say ‘how’d that look from behind?’ and he’d say “it could have pitched in line, it might be outside…’ I need more than that!”

The ball was a rare moment of excitement for Australia on what has otherwise been a flat morning on a docile wicket.

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Pakistan scored at just 2.28 runs per over, with very little on offer for the bowlers and only some turn for Lyon.

Captain Pat Cummins offered up the only other real moment of life with a ball that climbed quickly and struck Azhar’s gloves early, with other short balls generally sitting up.

Australia’s best hope is likely if the ball begins to reverse swing, with some hint of that for Mitchell Starc late in the session.

Pakistan will be looking to bat well into the day, with star man Babar Azam still to come, and potentially put Australia in for a difficult mini-session before stumps on Day 2.

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