Healy fires up at Test callers over Alex Carey treatment

Australian wicketkeeping Ian Healy has let fly at the match commentators in the Paksitan vs, Australia series, calling them out for “pathetic commentary” in how they’re covering the performance of Alex Carey.

While there has been little actual criticism of Carey from the panel, it’s grinding Healy’s gears that the relative newcomer is not receiving his due praise.

The commentary team features former Australian batsman Simon Katich and Pakistan bowling legend Waqar Younis alongside a cast that includes Mike Haysman and Robert Key – a far cry from the big name, big wage ex stars who frequented the commentary box in Healy’s time with Channel Nine, or the current Fox Sports crew.

“I’m quite annoyed about something I saw yesterday,” Healy told SEN’s Pat and Heals.

“The commentary was very, very underwhelming and very distracted. For mine, when the ball went past the bat, that’s when they stopped watching.

“Some of the takes of Alex Carey when you’re wicketkeeping to Mitchell Starc swinging the ball late were unbelievable and never ever mentioned – it was pathetic commentary.

“Down the leg side, swinging fast, bouncing in front of the keeper, he’s moving his feet well at times, he’s diving well at times, he’s coping with balls that have bounced in front of him, and he was clean as a whistle – and they weren’t giving him anything.

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“When he’s having a clean, skilful, tough day and making it look easy, I want it noticed. You know what will happen, he’ll put one down and they’ll criticise him.

“They’ll forget all the good work that was done yesterday following up his 93 with the bat.”

Carey took two catches in Pakistan’s innings of 148.

Haysman grabbed the headlines for saying he was stunned and astounded that Pat Cummins chose not to enforce the follow on, although Katich said it was the obvious decision considering the game state.

Pace ace Mitchell Starc’s masterly spell of reverse swing bowling skittled Pakistan to put Australia on the cusp of an historic Test win in Karachi.

After Australia posted an imposing 9(dec)-556, a Starc triple treat helped blast Pakistan out for a meagre 148.

The visitors chose not to enforce the follow-on and reached 1-81, a lead of 489 runs, at stumps on Monday’s third day of play.

The Australians, with Usman Khawaja not out 35 and Marnus Labuschagne unbeaten on 37, are in sight of their first win in nine Karachi Tests, and a 1-0 series lead.

Starc ripped through Pakistan’s top-order, his 3-29 featuring wickets on consecutive balls – he was on a hat-trick for the 15th time in international cricket.

Starc narrowly missed the rare feat when Mohammad Rizwan was comprehensively beaten outside off stump from his milestone attempt.

Starc bended the ball both ways during a spectacular Pakistan batting crash as the hosts lost 9-92.

Sklipper Babar Azam (36) was the only batsman to pass 20 and the last pair – No.10 Nauman Ali and No.11 Shaheen Shah Afridi – featured in the highest partnership of the innings, 32 runs.

Starc’s support cast included debutant Mitchell Swepson (2-32) who collected his first Test wickets and produced a stellar direct-hit run out, as did Marnus Labuschagne.

And Cummins (1-39), Nathan Lyon (1-13) and Cameron Green (1-23) all claimed wickets after Australia declared some 35 minutes into day three.

Starc captured the prized scalps of Azhar Ali (14) and Fawad Alam for a golden duck in successive deliveries, following spinner Lyon removing Imam ul-Haq (20) and Swepson running out Abdullah Shafique (13) with a direct hit from backward point.

Those four wickets left Pakistan 4-60. Just 14 runs later, Rizwan was dropped by Steve Smith at slip from Cummins’ bowling.

But the Australian skipper, in his next over, got his man when Rizwan (six) edged to Carey and, two overs later, allrounder Green trapped Faheem Ashraf (four) lbw before leaving the field with a thumb injury – he later returned.

Green’s temporary absence brought Starc back into the attack and the paceman removed Sajid Khan (five), who feathered an edge to a sharp-hearing Carey: the gloveman demanded a review despite Starc and other Australians signalling they didn’t hear an edge after an initial not-out verdict.

Soon after, Swepson took his first Test wicket, and the legspinner added another after Pakistan’s final pair produced an innings-high stand.

Australia then opted to bat again – since famously losing to India in Kolkata in 2001 when enforcing the follow-on, Australia have only ordered their opposition to follow-on 14 times from 39 opportunities.

Since that Kolkata Test, Australia have 24 wins from 24 Tests when not enforcing the follow-on and batting again.

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