Australia news May 6, 2014

Paine steps down as Tasmania vice-captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine has stood down as Tasmania's vice-captain and been replaced by Alex Doolan. Paine's leadership potential has long been recognised and there was a time when he was considered a potential future national captain, but his own disappointment with his form over the summer has left him wanting to concentrate more on his own game.

Paine, 29, scored 473 Sheffield Shield runs at 31.53 during the 2013-14 summer and is still searching for his second century at first-class level, having not reached triple-figures since he made 215 in October 2006. He has played four Tests and 26 one-day internationals for Australia but has not represented his country since early 2011, having struggled with finger injuries.

"I made the decision to step down so that I can spend more time concentrating on my own game" Paine said. "I didn't have the season I would have liked with the bat and as a result I made the decision to step aside and let somebody else take the reins. I've given as much as I can to the role and it will be good to have someone with different ideas to lead the team."

Doolan, 28, will step up as deputy to Tasmania's captain George Bailey, although his availability for the state will depend in part upon his ability to retain his place as the incumbent Test No.3. The presence of Doolan in the Test team and Bailey in Australia's shorter formats should mean that one of them will be present for the Tigers at most times.

"I'm really looking forward to working more closely with George and [deputy vice-captain] Xavier Doherty as well as our coaching staff," Doolan said. "I'm excited to also possibly have the opportunity to lead the Tigers when George is off representing Australia. We have a fantastic group of talented players and I have no doubt we can continue to challenge for one-day and first-class titles next season and into the future."

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  • ToneMalone on May 6, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    I hope this decision proves fruitful for Tim Paine. To me, Paine circa 2010 looked a better prospect for Australia than Wade circa 2012: Paine seemed cleaner with the gloves; had better body language behind the stumps; and was possibly the sounder looking batsman. But I was surprised to read Paine is now almost 30. As SoyQuearns says, he needs to start showing his class!

    With neither Paine nor Wade in the Australia A side, the selectors are clearly looking to broaden their net of potential successors to Haddin. Whoever gets the gig, I hope they are picked for glovework and leadership skills ahead of batting. I'd take a fine keeper of spin who averages 30 with the bat ahead of a compromise that averages 35-40, any day of the week.

  • Soy on May 6, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    C'mon Tim, it's time to rise now mate.

    Haddin is on his way out, Wade is out of favour and, somewhat inexplicably, Hartley's name is never genuinely considered for Tests (despite the fact I think he'd do great things in that format).

    Failing the inclusion of Hartley, Paine deserves a chance to add to his 4 Tests after showing great glove skills and real ticker in scoring 95 in India.

    But time is of the essence now, he truly must make this next season count.

  • James on May 6, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    1 century in donkeys years is what's worrying about Paine, not sure he will be picked for AUS.

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