Sheffield Shield: Limited-overs specialist Alex Carey aims for higher honours
Eye on the ball: Alex Carey is Australia's ODI and T20I wicketkeeper. @Getty

Australia’s limited-overs wicketkeeper Alex Carey is aware that Test captain Tim Paine is 34 and that the possibility of taking the gloves in the future is distinct possibility provided he stacks up the runs in first-class cricket.

Carey, 27, broke into Australia’s ODI and T20I sides this year and was in October named vice-captain of the T20I squad after just 11 appearances. With a first-class batting average of just under 27, Carey’s focus is one achieving more in red-ball cricket to press his claims for Test selection.

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After scoring his second first-class hundred on Saturday – an unbeaten 110 for South Australia versus New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield – he spoke of the adjustment from playing limited-overs cricket for Australia to common back to four-day cricket.

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“Every time I come back and play first-class cricket I want to do well,” Carey said. “I want to play both well with the red ball and the white ball. Whatever ball it is, runs count. If I’m away playing ODIs, then that’s the focus. If I’m back here then it’s trying to do well for South Australia. I’m still learning my game. I’ve only played (29 first-class games) now. I want to keep getting better now. Today it was quite controlled and in the past I’d probably get ahead of myself and play too many shots too early.

“You’ve got to get used to it playing white-ball cricket and then coming back into red-ball cricket, just adapting to batting for a long time,” Carey said.”With the white-ball you play on quite flat wickets and the ball’s not doing much and then playing a spinner and it reserves, and (it’s about) just being really flexible.”

Carey has won a huge vote of confidence from Test great Ian Healy, who recently stated that in his view Carey was at a higher level of skill as a wicketkeeper than he was at the same age.

“Alex Carey hasn’t got as much learning as me to do,” Healy said last month. “He’s a really good performer, and most teams he’s been part of have had success. That’s the type we want in there. He’s just working his way up into the one-dayers now, and at some stage, he might take Tim Paine’s (Test) job – in two or three years.”