Ashes 2017-18: Tim Paine to Earn a Surprise Call-up for Australia: Report
In what could be termed as a bombshell announcement, the discarded Australia wicket-keeper batsman Tim Paine is highly-likely going to make a shocking return into the Australian fold in the impending Ashes 2017-18 series which will be beginning from November 23 at Gabba in Brisbane.
After wicket-keeper batsmen, Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill somewhat failed to deliver and eventually were found unimpressive by the selectors of Cricket Australia with Paine tipped to be now the first choice for the hosts.
“His glovework is very good. If he gets some runs, you just don’t know,” the former Australian bowler Ryan Harris was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.
Pertinently, the contenders for the wicket-keeping are participating in the ongoing four-day JLT Sheffield Shield tournament.
According to the Fairfax Media in Australia, the leaked report suggested Paine would be replacing the glovemen Wade when National Selection Panel chief Trevor Hohns will set to read out the eagerly-awaited squad of Australia on November 17 (Friday).
“Without a keeper jumping out making runs, you’ve obviously got to pick your best gloveman,” Harris maintained.
It’s pertinent to point out that New South Wales Blues’ Nevill was overlooked last year in order to have incumbent Wade in the national fold who has already struggled with the bat even in the domestic competition.
The 32-year-old Paine, who plays for Tasmania played his last Test against India at Bengaluru in 2010.
“I’m interested to see who they pick in that space,” Harris concluded.
On the other side, the promising batsman is expected to be replaced by Western Australia opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, who had a good run in the Shield tournament.
The reports also suggested Shaun Marsh is highly-likely expected to earn a recall in order to strengthen the batting line-up which has become the cause of concern of late.
As Paine’s return might stun many around, his announcement which is subjected to the official Magellan Ashes squad announcement of Steven Smith-led Australia could further dent the morale of Wade and Nevill subsequently.
In the recent past, Paine was handed over a contract by Tasmania after opting to work in Melbourne for cricketing firm Kookaburra.
However, Paine was omitted for first two matches by Tasmania as a gloveman in the ongoing six-team tournament, as the first three rounds of Shield completed on November 16, before the kickstart of the much-awaited series Down Under between Australia and England.
Recently, Paine struck 52 against England for Cricket Australia in the warm-up match before scoring unbeaten 71 against Victoria.
The right-handed batsman Paine played four Tests for Australia in which he scored 287 runs at an average of 35.97. He has two fifties to his name.
The reportedly surprise selection could change the fortunes of the out-of-favour batsman, who effected a stump and claimed 16 catches in eight Test innings so far.
Earlier, Paine made his Test debut in July 2010 against Pakistan at Lord’s.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor