Alex Carey is Australia’s wicketkeeper for World Cup: Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting has backed Alex Carey for the World Cup and beyond. © AFP

Three-time World Cup winner Ricky Ponting has endorsed Alex Carey not just as Australia‘s wicketkeeper for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, but as a potential captain.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting backed the 27-year-old to don the wicketkeeping gloves in England this summer and labeled Carey – already Australia’s ODI and T20I vice-captain – as a future leader of the team.

“Alex Carey offers the best package as keeper,” said Ponting. “He’s dangerous at the top of the order or late in the innings because he does score 360 degrees, he’s a deceptively hard hitter of the ball and for mine, he’s just the right character, he’s the right person that you want to have in your team. I actually think he’s got really good strong leadership qualities as well.

“If anything happened to Finch through the World Cup or leading into the World Cup, then I think he’s really well-equipped to lead the side, even though he’s still relatively inexperienced and never captained Australia before. I like the look of him.”

Carey kept wicket in all five matches of Australia’s clean sweep of Pakistan in the UAE. He batted thrice, and in the fifth game scored his first ODI half-century.

Australia’s chief selector Trevor Hohns recently took the names of Tim Paine, Matthew Wade and Peter Handscomb as the other options Australia have as wicketkeeper for the World Cup, but Ponting felt the role would go to Carey given his time with the team.

“I think it’s too late now to be making those changes on your keeper,” he said. “But I just like the overall package, he’s been through a high-performance system with his footy in the past and he’s learnt certain leadership things going through that set up as well and he brings those to the Australian cricket team.

“On the back of that he’s a very, very good cricketer. So, I’ve got him in my starting XI for sure.”

In 19 ODIs, Carey has made 429 runs at 30.64.

The World Cup starts May 30.