MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Shane Warne ruffled a few feathers when he labelled England captain Alastair Cook boring and questioned batsman Joe Root's technique this week but he retains plenty of goodwill from Ashes hopeful Michael Carberry.
The former Australia spinner told British media one-test Carberry would make a better opener than talented youngster Root and was duly vindicated on Wednesday when county cricket veteran Carberry shared an unbeaten first wicket stand of 318 with Cook on the opening day of the Hobart tour match against Australia A.
Warne, who now dissects English players as a television pundit after a career of worrying them with his legspin, may live to rue praising 33-year-old Carberry after his former Hampshire protege got a big confidence boost with his unbeaten 153 at Bellerive Oval.
"I think Shane Warne is basically the reason I actually got a chance to play test cricket," Carberry told reporters of his mentor, who captained Hampshire from 2004-07.
"I was a young guy who was a little bit lost in county cricket. I didn't really get an opportunity.
"I came to Hampshire and from day one he made me feel very very much at home. He gave me the backing any young player needs and allowed me to play a brand of cricket that I wanted to play.
"So I think he was very influential in terms of me actually doing what I've done and obviously getting a chance of playing for England."
England are bidding for a fourth straight Ashes success after winning the first of this year's back-to-back series 3-0 at home.
Warne's scathing criticism of Cook, saying his lack of invention as a captain could cost England the Ashes, drew a predictable "look at the scoreboard" response from Cook on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the England captain let his bat do the talking as he compiled an unbeaten 154 to pick up where he left off in Australia after his dominant three-century effort during the 2010-11 Ashes tour, which England won 3-1.
Pundits suggested Cook should ignore Warne's 'trash talking' but he appeared to heed the Australian's more constructive advice when Root was named to play at number five in Hobart.
Carberry played his sole test against Bangladesh in 2010 and has not had a second chance since, having suffered a blood clot in his lung that prevented him boarding long-haul flights and with former captain Andrew Strauss and Cook firmly ensconced at the top of the order until a year ago.
Concerned that health problems could cut his career short, he became a qualified electrician and had little idea he would be padding up for England on their tour Down Under until a few weeks ago.
"Nothing much was really explained to me," Carberry said of his selection as an opener for the Hobart match on Wednesday.
"I was just told: 'Carbs, you're going in with Cookie' and that was good enough for me.
"To do it for England is a very special moment and (in) Aussie (Australia) to do it, even better." (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ken Ferris)
- Sports & Recreation
- Shane Warne
- Alastair Cook
- Michael Carberry