Australia skipper Tim Paine has been facing severe criticism in the wake of the shock 2-1 series loss to India at home. The hosts conceded the series after two consecutive poor day-five performances which led to questions being raised at Tim Paine’s captaincy. In Sydney, Australia had almost 50 overs to take the last five Indian wickets.
However, they could not take even one wicket as India salvaged a famous draw. Three dropped catches by Tim Paine made things only worse for him. Not only that, the wicketkeeper-batsman also faced severe criticism for his behaviour on day five of the Sydney Test. Such was the criticism that he had to call an impromptu press-conference to issue an apology after the game.
In Brisbane where Australia had not lost a Test since 1988, India chased down an improbable 328 to shock the home side. In that Test too, Tim Paine’s wicketkeeping was questioned after he missed a chance to stump Rishabh Pant who went on to play an unbeaten knock of 89 and take India home. Unsurprisingly, questions are being raised at his captaincy.
Several quarters have suggested that Australia should sack Tim Paine and appoint a new captain. However, former Australia skipper Greg Chappell believes otherwise. Throwing his support behind the 36-year old, Chappell said Australia must stand by their man.
“This is not the time to jettison Tim Paine,” Chappell said. He’s still the best keeper in the country and he’s still averaged 40 in the Test series. Okay, he didn’t have great games in the last two Test matches behind the stumps.
“But you can’t overestimate how hard four Test matches in a row are, particularly for fast bowlers, and especially for a wicketkeeper-captain. It’s an enormous workload and he probably suffered a little bit from the fact that he was pretty knackered by the end,” added the Australian legend.
Tim Paine has done a fine job as captain since replacing Steve Smith in 2018 after the sandpaper gate in South Africa. Under his leadership Australia have retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches. At present, there are no clear candidates to replace him as the captain. Fast-bowler Pat Cummins is the front-runner but no bowler has been the fulltime skipper since Richie Benaud in 1964.
Meanwhile, Chappell further said he finds it harder to come up with a solution for the Test team’s middle order. While supporting Paine and the bowlers, Chappell said that the batsmen have let Australia down in recent times.
“I don’t think there are many (solutions), to be honest,” Chappell said.
“They’re going to have to do something but it’s going to be a bit of guesswork involved. I’m certainly not critical of the bowlers, I’m not overly critical of Tim. I think our batting certainly let us down,” he said.