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Carters cops his place in pecking order

Date

Lee Gaskin

Matt Prior in the field on Friday night.

Matt Prior in the field on Friday night. Photo: Brendan Esposito

FIRST it was Matthew Wade, now it’s Matt Prior.

Canberra wicketkeeper Ryan Carters seems to find himself surrounded by international glovemen at whatever team he’s at.

After going in and out of the Victorian team whenever Wade wasn’t on Australian duty, the 22-year-old Radford College product now faces the prospect being squeezed out of the Sydney Thunder at the expense of English international Prior.

Ryan Carters unwinds on Friday night.

Ryan Carters unwinds on Friday night. Photo: Getty Images

The two co-existed in Friday night’s loss to the Brisbane Heat, with Prior playing purely as a batsman having only arrived in the country the day before.

But the 62-Test veteran could take over the gloves as early as Sunday night’s cross-town derby with the Sydney Sixers at ANZ Stadium.

It would be a cruel blow to Carters given he’s been one of the winless Thunder’s best in a disappointing Big Bash League campaign.

He’s looked assured behind the stumps while scoring freely in the middle order.

‘‘The coach talked to me about the fact Prior was coming in, and he said there were no guarantees and he’d play as he saw it when the time came up,’’ Carters said.

‘‘Unfortunately it’s a part of the game. International players come and go, and on the domestic front, players with Australian representation come and go, as I’ve had with Matt Wade at Victoria.

‘‘It’s just like anything, you have to play well to earn your selection.’’

Carters has slotted in seamlessly into the Thunder line-up after switching from the Melbourne Renegades, and was unlucky to be run out for five in the loss to the Heat.

With Wade becoming a regular in the national team in all three forms of the game, that’s given Carters the opportunity to establish himself with Victoria.

Once his commitments with the Thunder are complete, he’s eager to carry his strong Twenty20 form back to the Bushrangers for the run home in the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup competitions.

Working alongside one of the world’s premier wicketkeepers will only help his cause.

Prior is a crucial cog in England’s Ashes defence, providing plenty of rear-guard resistance in the lower order with six Test centuries at an average of 43.

It’s not the first time the pair have shared a dressing-room; Prior joined Victoria for the domestic Twenty20 competition a couple of years ago.

And Carters is keen to learn as much as he can from his English counterpart.

‘‘He’s got such a wealth of experience, so it’s good to see him again and watch how he goes about things,’’ Carters said.

‘‘He’s been pretty prolific in recent years. I’ll try to watch the way he goes about it in training and see any ideas he has.’’

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