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September 11, 2009
Tim Paine concedes it has been nerve-racking to be thrust into Australia's one-day team in England but he knows he must make the most of his chances. Paine is the fourth wicketkeeper used by Australia in internationals this year and he is assured of his place until the end of the Champions Trophy as Brad Haddin continues to recover from finger surgery.
But Paine, who has been opening in England, knows a decent score would help ensure he remains Haddin's backup. He has made 0, 26 and 29 against England, as well as an unbeaten 29 against Scotland, and a bigger innings would keep him ahead of Graham Manou and the other state glovemen in the one-day pecking order.
"I'm enjoying my time here, I don't want it to end but obviously it's going to," Paine told AAP. "I suppose all I can do is do as well as I can and try and cement myself as No. 2 in one-day cricket while Brad isn't here."
Paine, 24, is not a muscly strokeplayer like Haddin, but his batting skills are excellent and he has a first-class double-century to his name for Tasmania. On Saturday, he will line up alongside Ricky Ponting for the first time in Australian colours and it was some advice from his Tasmanian colleague Ponting several years ago that helped Paine develop his game.
"When I was young I got caught up with blokes who'd hit the ball a lot harder and stuff like that and then I'd try and go and do that," Paine said. "He [Ponting] has always said to me about playing your own way and everyone plays differently and just to back the way you play."
Paine has taken over from Luke Ronchi as Australia's backup gloveman in one-day internationals but he will be challenged in the future by Manou, who played the Edgbaston Test, as well as Victoria's Matthew Wade and Queensland's Chris Hartley. Paine said he had enjoyed his opening taste of international cricket, despite the pressure.
"It's been great, I've had a ball, the side's been playing very well as well, which has made it a lot easier," Paine said. "I've been very nervous I suppose before games, but each game I've played so far it's been easier to prepare for, I'm a bit more relaxed. I'm looking forward to the next few games and cashing in on the starts I've had and continuing to keep well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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