England have called up Brydon Carse to their World Cup squad in India, with Joe Root claiming the seamer could inherit Liam Plunkett’s mantle as master of the middle overs.
Struggling England lost their leading wicket-taker during Saturday’s record-breaking defeat by South Africa, when Reece Topley fractured his left index finger fielding off his own bowling.
Head coach Matthew Mott initially suggested there was no guarantee another seamer would be brought in as his replacement, inviting the likes of Jason Roy, Will Jacks, Liam Dawson and Rehan Ahmed into the conversation, but Carse’s selection maintains the status quo.
Brydon Carse will replace Reece Topley in our World Cup squad for the remainder of the tournament.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 23, 2023
The 28-year-old was the next seamer in line and may have made a stronger push for the original 15-man squad had he not suffered injury issues of his own over the summer. He was ultimately overtaken by Surrey’s Gus Atkinson, but will now link up with the group in Bengaluru.
Thursday’s game against Sri Lanka will probably come too soon for Carse, who has taken 14 wickets in 12 ODIs to date, but with questions surrounding a team that has lost three out of their first four games he will hope to push hard for a chance.
England have never quite found their heir to Plunkett, the 2019 World Cup winner who nailed a tricky role through the middle of the innings, and Root believes Carse could carry that baton.
“Brydon is a brilliant all-round package. He scores some handy runs for you, is very dynamic in the field and he’s got a unique wicket-taking ability,” said Root.
“He’s got that Ben Stokes element to him where you sometimes feel like nothing is happening and then he’ll pick up wickets, almost in a ‘Junior Plunkett’ kind of way. He’s very similar.”
Plunkett was often undervalued for his role in England’s white-ball revolution but played a crucial role in the 2019 final and was the only squad member to enjoy a 100 per cent record at the tournament.
“Pudsey (Plunkett) won’t like me saying this, but he’s almost got more to offer with the bat,” Root continued.
“He’s probably not got as much to offer in the dressing-room just yet, but he’s a big personality too and a great character to have around, so he’s a good addition. Whenever someone comes in and they’re excited, and you can see it on their face straightaway, a smile is infectious isn’t it?
“It can bring the best out of everyone and having that come into the group can’t be a bad thing for sure.”