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Paine jets in as Aussie keeping cover

Investec Test Series

Steve Magoffin & Tim Paine

Tim Paine, here keeping wicket for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, will prove cover for Australia this week

Australia have called up Tim Paine as extra wicketkeeping cover for this week’s decisive npower Ashes Test at the Brit Oval.

Tasmanian Paine, who was due to arrive next weekend for the limited-overs leg of Australia’s tour of England, is travelling early because of reserve wicketkeeper Graham Manou’s hand injury.

Australia have already used three different wicketkeepers on tour this summer.

First-choice Brad Haddin has played in three of the four Ashes Tests but had to pull out of the third after breaking a finger in warm-up at Edgbaston.

He was replaced there by Manou but was back in time for the fourth match at Headingley Carnegie, which Australia won by an innings and 80 runs to level the series at 1-1.

Manou himself injured his hand in Birmingham and has since suffered further discomfort, forcing Australia to call Chris Hartley from club cricket in northern England to stand in for the two-day match against England Lions which finished yesterday.

Australia have made it clear there is no suggestion Haddin will not be fit for the Oval Test, starting on Thursday, but doubts linger over Manou.

Australia physiotherapist Alex Kountouris reported: “Tim will arrive a few days early as a precautionary measure should Graham Manou’s hand injury not recover sufficiently to be available as a reserve wicket-keeper for Thursday’s fifth Ashes Test at the Oval.

“Brad Haddin is expected to be fully fit for selection in this match.”