YES HE DOES!
During England’s tour to Bangladesh in 2010, Michael Carberry was given his test debut in the first test in Chittagong. He opened with Alistair Cook, scored 64 runs in two innings, and was then dropped for the second test in order to bring in a spinner.
In November 2010, just two weeks before the England Performance Programme trip to Australia, Michael Carberry was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs. These blood clots threatened his career and he was finally given the all clear to return to the game again midway through the 2011 season. However, August 2011 saw Carberry smash 300* against Yorkshire in a Championship match, including a massive 523 partnership with Neil McKenzie. At this point, we knew we had a fighter as well as a fine cricketer.
During the 2013 domestic season, Carberry really impressed the England selectors at the top of the order. He secured an opening spot in the one-day series against Australia and also scored runs for the England Lions against Bangladesh A. Carberry averaged 46 in First-Class cricket in 2013 and 44 in Limited Overs games. His cool, calm and collected manner at the start of the innings is just one of the reasons as to why Carberry has bagged himself a place in this Ashes squad.
In England’s warm up games in Australia in the past few weeks, Carberry has been in imperious form. He scored 78 against the Western Australian Chairman’s XI when opening the batting with Joe Root, then he made a real statement by scoring 153 in a partnership of 318 with Alistair Cook against Australia A.
Since Andrew Strauss’ retirement in 2012, England have tried three different opening partnerships. Cook and Compton, Cook and Root, and finally Cook and Carberry. Compton excelled on the New Zealand tour scoring back to back test centuries, he then under performed in the return series and was subsequently left out of the Ashes side. Root impressed against India and New Zealand batting down the order, then scored a beautiful 180 against Australia at Lord’s when he opened.
It is looking more and more likely that Carberry is going to claim the number two slot for the upcoming Ashes series, which I have absolutely no problems with. In my ideal England Test XI, Carberry is opening with Cook and Root replaces fellow Yorkshireman Johnny Bairstow at number six.
Cook (C), Carberry, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior (WK), Broad, Swann, Finn/Tremlett/Rankin, Anderson
Good luck Aussie’s!