Australia have selected wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson as cover for back-up gloveman Josh Inglis, who will return home after the opening Ashes Test for the birth of his first child.
Alex Carey is Australia’s first-choice keeper for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India and the five Ashes Tests and Inglis has been selected as his back-up.
But Inglis will return to Perth after the first Ashes Test starting on June 16 and his place will be taken up before the second Test at Lord’s by 30-year-old Queensland gloveman Peirson, who has 65 first-class games to his credit, according to cricket.com.au on Friday.
The Australian team management has said Inglis will rejoin the squad later in the series.
Peirson, who has been impressive at the domestic and Australia ‘A’ level with both the bat and gloves, trained with the Test squad in Brisbane last week and would be fancying his chances of wearing the iconic Baggy Green during the Ashes.
The right-handed lower-order batter has improved his batting drastically over the years, going from an average of less than 30 in his first 35 first-class games to 42.56, including six tons in 30 games since the 2020-21 season.
He also struck an unbeaten 128 for Australia ‘A’ during their tour of Sri Lanka last year.
Peirson’s appearance in the Australian Test squad has partly been delayed because Tim Paine was the first-choice keeper for a long time and then Carey replaced the former captain, who stepped down due to a controversy ahead of the 2021 Ashes series at home.
Peirson said he was driven by the desire to set higher standards for himself.
“These guys (Carey and Inglis among others) are setting their benchmark, and I want to set my benchmark higher, and maybe bring a few other attributes into that as well, through leadership or whatever else,” said Peirson.
“It’s great to have that competition. That’s what drives you to be the best you can be. If someone’s pipping you, you want to be better than them. That’s certainly one of my great driving factors: I want to be the best, I want to be the next man in.”