Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne has opined Alex Carey's dropped chances were starting to become "a bit of an issue" in his maiden Test series.
Australian wicketkeeper Carey gave England batter Haseeb Hameed a lifeline when he dropped a catch on the final day of the fourth Ashes Test. He dived to his right but could not hold on after Hameed had edged it behind on Day 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
It was Carey's second drop of the match, having dropped the England opener in the previous innings as well.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Warne said:
"When you go back to Brisbane, he was fantastic. In Adelaide when it was spinning, he was really good in the first innings. But he just had a couple of issues in the second innings in Adelaide where he missed one between him and (David) Warner, didn’t go for one, put one down.
The former leg-spinner questioned whether the drops were starting to affect Carey's confidence, saying:
"In Melbourne, he put a couple down and now he’s put a couple down here too. It’s just starting to be a bit of an issue. What about his mindset now, that’s four or five in the past two games that he’s put down or hasn’t gone for. Is it starting to become an issue in his head?"
"You’ve just made your debut, done so well and in the last couple of Tests people are going to say ‘Hang on, he’s dropped a few, didn’t go for a couple, he’s put three or four down all in the same spot’. It's got to play on his mind."
"Will be a confidence issue now" - Adam Gilchrist on Alex Carey
Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said there was nothing wrong with Alex Carey's technique and that the gloveman had just got himself into "a bit of a rut."
In conversation with Warne, Gilchrist said:
"He’s got himself in a little rut there now in that exact area. That’s two in this game now. The disappointment - it’s a horrible feeling. This is all part of the learnings of Test cricket and the intensity of Test cricket and the scrutiny of Test cricket. After he seamlessly walked into Test match cricket at the Gabba and we all praised how relaxed he looked."
Gilchrist went on to say that it was more of a confidence issue than one of wicketkeeping technique with Carey.
"He’s done everything he needs to, he’s just misjudged the pace of it or the height he needed to go. The consistent scrutinies and pressures in Test cricket over the course of a series... he started beautifully and then what he learnt very quickly is you’ve got to back it up every day, every session, every hour, every minute. It’ll be a confidence issue now, believe me."
Alex Carey redeemed himself by taking Hameed's catch later in the innings to send him packing. Luckily, the England opener scored just nine runs, not dealing the Aussies much damage after the initial missed chance.