Australia news May 28, 2012

Paine finally starts batting again

31

Tim Paine has conceded he was nervous when he batted in the nets this week after spending nearly a year out of the game with a finger injury. Paine has been chosen as the gloveman for the Australia A tour of England in July and it will give him a chance to prove he can still be an option for Australian selection despite being overtaken by Matthew Wade in the national wicketkeeping queue.

It has been a tough 18 months for Paine, who made his Test debut in 2010 when Australia played Pakistan in England, and retained the position for the tour of India later that year. In November 2010 he broke the index finger on his right hand while batting against Dirk Nannes in an exhibition match and while he was able to play during 2011, he missed the entire 2011-12 summer after breaking the finger again during pre-season training with Tasmania.

But Paine believes the time off has allowed him to heal properly, and he has been training at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane ahead of the Australia A tour. Keeping wicket has not been a problem for Paine during his training but it was only this week that he returned to batting, and he said it would take some time to get used to a new pair of batting gloves designed to give his finger extra protection.

"The finger is going really well," Paine said. "It has been a long 16 or 18 months. I'm glad to be back now ... I've had my first hit against bowlers today and I'm training wicketkeeping more, that's pretty much at 100%. I'll build that up over the next four or five weeks before I head off to England. It's going well.

"I was a bit nervous [when batting]. It's been a long time. I've got some new gloves made up from Kookaburra and Alex Kountouris, the Australian physio, has put even more protection on that. That's something I have to get used to as well, I have to hold the bat slightly differently, because there's a lot of padding and a lot of tape on the fingers. That's something that will take time but I'll get that right over the next month or so."

Paine has plenty of training to catch up on. Not only did he miss all of last summer, he spent hardly any time with the Tasmania squad, given leave by the state coach Tim Coyle to pursue other activities. He said the time off had helped keep his mind fresh and prevented him from trying to return too quickly, which had been a problem when he first broke the finger in 2010.

"Last summer I didn't do a hell of a lot of cricket, I had a bit to do with the Big Bash with the [Hobart] Hurricanes but stayed away from any sort of training and had plenty of time off, away from cricket, away from Bellerive Oval, which was really good," he said. "It's got me in a good frame of mind now, I'm nice and fresh and excited to be back.

"The first one I struggled a bit more because hanging around and wanting to do stuff and not being able to was frustrating. Then every time I'd try to do something it would break again, or something would go wrong. That was frustrating. It was important this time to just get away for four or five months. I didn't even try and pick up a cricket bat or catch a ball in that whole period. I didn't think too much about cricket. I spent a bit of time in Melbourne and had a good time recharging."

But while Paine was recuperating, he remained in the minds of John Inverarity and the rest of the Australian selection panel. Although Paine, 27, has watched his childhood friend Matthew Wade, 24, grab his opportunity in the baggy green and score a Test century against West Indies, a strong summer for Tasmania would ensure Paine was firmly in the frame once again for national selection.

The Australia A squad is set to play two three-day games against Derbyshire and Durham, and two four-day games against the England Lions, in July and August.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tasliskr on May 31, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    come on ......we can give a chance 4 peter nevilllll......... he too is competitive wicket keeper

  • zenboomerang on May 31, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Glad to see Paine getting back now after trying to rush it back into playing in February... Big fan of Paine, but he has basically been out from cricket for 18 mths yet gets the Aust A gig above a fit Nevill, Hartley (&others) - what happened to the Argus report?... As for a future captain in 4-5 yrs time - I can see Warner, Smith, Wade as possible good candidates... Time will tell... Still, if Paine does well for Aust A in Eng I truly wonder if Haddin has any spot left to play in?...

  • on May 31, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    I believe there is room for both wade and Paine to play for Australia both have enough talent and a strong enough first class record to be there together. Warner Cowan Watson Paine (Pontings replacment in very near future) Clarke M. Hussey Wade being the core batsmen with Bailey back up middle order batsmen and Maddinson back up top order batsmen

  • Big-Dog on May 31, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Okakaboka ...rubbish. Wade admitted he moved because he had no chance of displacing Paine. As we saw in the West Indies, Wade can't stand up to the stumps for the slow bowlers. As far as batting goes, they are comparable. Wade scored a streaky ton on a friendly pitch but Paine has an ODI ton plus a Test 90 odd. Obviously the selectors still see him as Haddins heir apparent. Wade is good but Paine is better.

  • Okakaboka on May 30, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @Big-Dog.....Nope....You can't use this argument. How old was Wade when he left Tassie...He was just out of Junior Ranks. Paine is about 3 years older. If you plot Wade's improvement as a keeper, he DEFINITELY will be better than Paine behind the stumps. Paine is not moving forward.....He is out of form...how can he be in form behind the stumps...Has played for ages?....Has he had a Lee...um...no...Siddle...woops he's injured...Pattinson thunderbolt hit his gloves yet? Oh, yes then there's Johnston now...Woops...that'll be 4 byes! The question we really need to consider is...how good will Wade be with the bat? The question of keeping ability is academic. Wade is good enough. Trillion kabillion times better than Haddin and as good if not better than Gilchrist going by the last test. I remember Gilchrist dropping the odd sitter....maybe 2 a series...unlike Haddin with one every innings!

  • Moppa on May 30, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I'm a Paine fan and hope he does really well on his comeback, but his numbers don't stack up against Wade. He only has one first class century in his entire career (admittedly, a double) - but he wasn't even keeping in that game. Wade already has a Test century plus a handful of other FC centuries and a better average. I think Paine's keeping might be marginally better, but not sufficiently to displace Wade.

  • RandyOZ on May 30, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @Okakaboka - although I agree with you, drop the Vic hat :P

  • RandyOZ on May 30, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    At his peak probably the second best keeper batsman in the world behind Wade. Looking forward to seeing how he goes before the Ashes.

  • Big-Dog on May 30, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    Gilly4ever ..you have obviously never seen Paine keep. He is by far better than Wade & Haddin. Why do you think Wade left Tasmania to go to Victoria? Paine's comeback can only improve Australia's prospects.

  • Meety on May 30, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    @Gilly4ever - Haddin is a way better batsmen than Paine. Paine is behind several keepers on pure batting terms. I would say Hartley is a better keeper than Wade, & I would argue that Paine is no worse in keeping than Wade, so I don't know on what grounds you say Wade is way better in terms of Keeping. (yes when batting is included).

  • tasliskr on May 31, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    come on ......we can give a chance 4 peter nevilllll......... he too is competitive wicket keeper

  • zenboomerang on May 31, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Glad to see Paine getting back now after trying to rush it back into playing in February... Big fan of Paine, but he has basically been out from cricket for 18 mths yet gets the Aust A gig above a fit Nevill, Hartley (&others) - what happened to the Argus report?... As for a future captain in 4-5 yrs time - I can see Warner, Smith, Wade as possible good candidates... Time will tell... Still, if Paine does well for Aust A in Eng I truly wonder if Haddin has any spot left to play in?...

  • on May 31, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    I believe there is room for both wade and Paine to play for Australia both have enough talent and a strong enough first class record to be there together. Warner Cowan Watson Paine (Pontings replacment in very near future) Clarke M. Hussey Wade being the core batsmen with Bailey back up middle order batsmen and Maddinson back up top order batsmen

  • Big-Dog on May 31, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Okakaboka ...rubbish. Wade admitted he moved because he had no chance of displacing Paine. As we saw in the West Indies, Wade can't stand up to the stumps for the slow bowlers. As far as batting goes, they are comparable. Wade scored a streaky ton on a friendly pitch but Paine has an ODI ton plus a Test 90 odd. Obviously the selectors still see him as Haddins heir apparent. Wade is good but Paine is better.

  • Okakaboka on May 30, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @Big-Dog.....Nope....You can't use this argument. How old was Wade when he left Tassie...He was just out of Junior Ranks. Paine is about 3 years older. If you plot Wade's improvement as a keeper, he DEFINITELY will be better than Paine behind the stumps. Paine is not moving forward.....He is out of form...how can he be in form behind the stumps...Has played for ages?....Has he had a Lee...um...no...Siddle...woops he's injured...Pattinson thunderbolt hit his gloves yet? Oh, yes then there's Johnston now...Woops...that'll be 4 byes! The question we really need to consider is...how good will Wade be with the bat? The question of keeping ability is academic. Wade is good enough. Trillion kabillion times better than Haddin and as good if not better than Gilchrist going by the last test. I remember Gilchrist dropping the odd sitter....maybe 2 a series...unlike Haddin with one every innings!

  • Moppa on May 30, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I'm a Paine fan and hope he does really well on his comeback, but his numbers don't stack up against Wade. He only has one first class century in his entire career (admittedly, a double) - but he wasn't even keeping in that game. Wade already has a Test century plus a handful of other FC centuries and a better average. I think Paine's keeping might be marginally better, but not sufficiently to displace Wade.

  • RandyOZ on May 30, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @Okakaboka - although I agree with you, drop the Vic hat :P

  • RandyOZ on May 30, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    At his peak probably the second best keeper batsman in the world behind Wade. Looking forward to seeing how he goes before the Ashes.

  • Big-Dog on May 30, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    Gilly4ever ..you have obviously never seen Paine keep. He is by far better than Wade & Haddin. Why do you think Wade left Tasmania to go to Victoria? Paine's comeback can only improve Australia's prospects.

  • Meety on May 30, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    @Gilly4ever - Haddin is a way better batsmen than Paine. Paine is behind several keepers on pure batting terms. I would say Hartley is a better keeper than Wade, & I would argue that Paine is no worse in keeping than Wade, so I don't know on what grounds you say Wade is way better in terms of Keeping. (yes when batting is included).

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 29, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    Paine is nowhere near as good a keeper as Wade. Get real. Paine is only in there for his batting, same as Haddin. The next best keeper after Wade is Hartley.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 29, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    In the Ashes next year England will introduce australia to alot of pain(e)!

  • rienzied on May 29, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Great to see him back, might be good for him to start of as a middle to lower order bat, so he doesnt face the hard and bouncing new ball. Then he can gain his confidence and season his injured finger back to his best. I reckon Paine and Wade are our future!

  • Meety on May 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    To those that are talking up Paine's captaincy credentials, lets just leave him to focus on taking catches & scoring runs first! Assuming Paine comes back to pre-injury form, he'll be a great addition to Oz's depth. IMO Paine is marginally the better keeper out of Wade & Neville, however is a significant drop down in the batting. The question the selectors will need to work out, is whether the extra 10-12 runs an innings (Wade & Neville) is better than the higher quality behind the stumps? The other issue as I see it, is Haddin out of the picture completely? In my view its 1. Wade, 2. Neville, 3. Paine for the time being. I would of preferred Neville got a go on the A-tour, but am very happy for Paine.

  • popcorn on May 28, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    @jeauxx,I agree with you that George Bailey is by far the best Captain Tassie has ever had. It is a shame that he has been briought into the Aussie ODI and T20 Side only recently. Credit to John Inverarity and his co selectors that they have made him Captain of the Aussie T20 side,and he is also in the ODI Squad.George Bailey could be a future Captain of Australia's Test and ODI sides too after Michael Clarke retires,but he is nearing 30,Clarke is 31,so when will he be given the Captaincy? Over Shane Watson? He is 31 too.When George Bailey is away playing for Australia,Tim Paine could captain Tassie.Tim Paine is 27 years old,hence,looking ahead,I think he will be at the RIGHT age to take over from Michael Clarke / Shane Watson / George Bailey - provided he is groomed for Captaincy this summer.

  • MinusZero on May 28, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    I dont get the selectors. I thought they were going to be picking on form. First Johnson and now Paine. Whatever happened to having match practice before selection?

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 28, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Come back soon Timmy !!! you are better than Haddin.

  • ali00 on May 28, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    If he play more test for Australia he might bring more girl fan into the cricket,

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 28, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @jeauxx then who is michael clarke?

  • QingdaoXI on May 28, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Prediction: Tim Paine will come as a back-up Keeper in feb-mar 2013 Series in India and after initial failures of Wade in Test, Paine will back in side and will lead Australia one day.

  • Heisenburg on May 28, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Paine is very overrated IMO, unless wades form goes bad, he should be the no.1 keeper, Neville should be no.2, Paine captain? Ridiculous, he isn't an amazing captain by any means and he isn't young any more, the guy is 27. Also Wade has a superior batting record and is equal, if not better with the gloves as paine. And he's younger.

  • on May 28, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    gud to hear tim's back. would have been a real waste of talent had he been injured.

  • Okakaboka on May 28, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Yes, great to see Paine back....but I feel he will struggle with the bat now. Batting is so much 'in the head' if you know what i mean. Yes, Paine was regarded as a future leader.....correctly. But Wade..surprising for his young age and lack of experience was a real contributor tatically in the ODI games (obviously paying attention to Andrew MacDonald). Wade has also shown himself to be a potential leader which means one thing....Bye Brad!

  • Dazako on May 28, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @Chris Sun, hate to break it to you but Wade is a much better keeper the way he kept in West Indies regaurdless of his batting (only player on tour to score 100). Paine will have to play exceptionally well to make the side. I hope he does well though and lives up to all expectations.

  • jeauxx on May 28, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    @popcorn

    I don't know if you can give Paine the reins of Tassie. George Bailey is the best captain Australia have produced since Steve Waugh - it's just a shame he's not the same deal as a batsman. Maybe for the ODD Cup side?

  • popcorn on May 28, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    This is good news. Considering Pup is planning his retirement in 4 years.At one time,Tim Paine was touted the future Captain of Austraklia. He now can be.He needs to be given the reins of Tassie first.

  • jonesy2 on May 28, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    really really really great news. hannibal?

  • on May 28, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    His test performances are pretty decent, he, Haddin and Wade are all on a level playing field. It all comes down to who is the better batsmen as opposed to who is the better keeper. Neither of these glovemen will bat like Gilchrist. Haddin tried it and his form is not that good, but early days for Wade. Let the selectors decide, Clarke, Arthur and Inverarity could have a delimma on their hands.

  • Woodsy71 on May 28, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    What a bonus for Australian cricket. Two young men with immense talent fighting for the gloves. The difference between the two? Tim has the cricketing vision akin to that of Ponting. Fitness pending, Tim Paine will succeed Clarke as skipper.

  • jeauxx on May 28, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    I'm chuffed to have Timmy back in the picture. It may be a bit shallow, but I've always liked the idea of Paine behind the stumps for Australia, if only for his sun-kissed blonde classic Australian look. Unfortunately Wade's batting record is far superior to Paine's at the moment, so he's going to have a *very* strong tour and season for Tasmania to wrestle the Test spot back.

    Hopefully he can give Wadey a run for his money though!

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 28, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    It is nice to have a good backup gloveman in case Wade gets injured. Would rather see Hannibal as the backup though. While Paine and Hadds can bat, they can't keep to save themselves.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 28, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    It is nice to have a good backup gloveman in case Wade gets injured. Would rather see Hannibal as the backup though. While Paine and Hadds can bat, they can't keep to save themselves.

  • jeauxx on May 28, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    I'm chuffed to have Timmy back in the picture. It may be a bit shallow, but I've always liked the idea of Paine behind the stumps for Australia, if only for his sun-kissed blonde classic Australian look. Unfortunately Wade's batting record is far superior to Paine's at the moment, so he's going to have a *very* strong tour and season for Tasmania to wrestle the Test spot back.

    Hopefully he can give Wadey a run for his money though!

  • Woodsy71 on May 28, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    What a bonus for Australian cricket. Two young men with immense talent fighting for the gloves. The difference between the two? Tim has the cricketing vision akin to that of Ponting. Fitness pending, Tim Paine will succeed Clarke as skipper.

  • on May 28, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    His test performances are pretty decent, he, Haddin and Wade are all on a level playing field. It all comes down to who is the better batsmen as opposed to who is the better keeper. Neither of these glovemen will bat like Gilchrist. Haddin tried it and his form is not that good, but early days for Wade. Let the selectors decide, Clarke, Arthur and Inverarity could have a delimma on their hands.

  • jonesy2 on May 28, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    really really really great news. hannibal?

  • popcorn on May 28, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    This is good news. Considering Pup is planning his retirement in 4 years.At one time,Tim Paine was touted the future Captain of Austraklia. He now can be.He needs to be given the reins of Tassie first.

  • jeauxx on May 28, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    @popcorn

    I don't know if you can give Paine the reins of Tassie. George Bailey is the best captain Australia have produced since Steve Waugh - it's just a shame he's not the same deal as a batsman. Maybe for the ODD Cup side?

  • Dazako on May 28, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @Chris Sun, hate to break it to you but Wade is a much better keeper the way he kept in West Indies regaurdless of his batting (only player on tour to score 100). Paine will have to play exceptionally well to make the side. I hope he does well though and lives up to all expectations.

  • Okakaboka on May 28, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Yes, great to see Paine back....but I feel he will struggle with the bat now. Batting is so much 'in the head' if you know what i mean. Yes, Paine was regarded as a future leader.....correctly. But Wade..surprising for his young age and lack of experience was a real contributor tatically in the ODI games (obviously paying attention to Andrew MacDonald). Wade has also shown himself to be a potential leader which means one thing....Bye Brad!

  • on May 28, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    gud to hear tim's back. would have been a real waste of talent had he been injured.