“One of the worst, lethargic performances I have seen in the last session of any cricket,” Border said.
“This is Australia A, they are representing Australia, they are young blokes trying to make their way. That fielding performance, bowling performance, captaincy performance – an absolute disgrace. Not up to scratch at all.
“I’m happy for any of those guys to come talk to me about what was going on yesterday afternoon and stand corrected but very ordinary stuff.”
Speaking after the three-day match was called off an hour before stumps on Sunday night, Carey said he was more than happy to chat with Border.
“Absolutely, I love talking to the greats that have been in Australian cricket and picking their brain. One of Australia’s best captains and players, I would love to have a chat with AB,” he said.
“I guess, personally being out there, the attitude wasn’t bad. We were trying. We had difficult situations with our bowlers, as I mentioned, making sure they got the right overs in.
“It was difficult out there with two set batters, and Rishabh (Pant) slogging it the way he did. But I absolutely would love to sit down and chat with AB for all parts of my game.”
The dashing Pant crunched his way to an unbeaten century while Hanuma Vihari also posted an unbeaten ton. The home side was without key fast bowler Sean Abbott (calf) in the final session but the decision to use the tame spin of Nic Maddinson for seven overs was also criticised.
Border, who played a key role in rebuilding the Australian side after the dark days of the mid 1980s, singled out Carey.
“If Alex Carey is in line to be an Australian captain, he has got a lot of work to do. He has gone down quite a few pegs. He is a good cricketer Alex Carey, I like what he brings. He has a bit of energy himself but he should have reacted to the general feel around the team,” he said.
Carey, who supplied a fine 58 with the bat on Sunday, was dropped as a co-vice-captain of the one-day international side in September after a decision was made to streamline the leadership under Aaron Finch. Pat Cummins is now the sole vice-captain but Carey remains high in the selectors’ thinking.
Border’s potent comments were a talking point among the Test squad, for he rarely takes aim in that way at Australian players.
On a day openers Joe Burns (1) and Marcus Harris (5) again failed in their bid to rubber-stamp their Test spots, batsman Ben McDermott (107 not out) and emerging allrounder Jack Wildermuth (111 not out) impressed with the manner in which they handled the Indian attack.
McDermott, the son of former fast bowling great Craig McDermott, used his strong off-side play to log only his second century in 18 first-class matches. At 26, he has struggled to have an impact in his dozen Twenty20 internationals but more knocks like this could have him firmly in long-form calculations.
Queenslander Wildermuth was a thrashing machine and acknowledged his third first-class century, as he and McDermott shared in an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 165 before play was called off an hour early with Australia A 4-307 – 166 runs from victory.
Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.