Paine determined to take chance
Uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine is determined to impress the Australia selectors in the absence of first-choice Brad Haddin during the forthcoming limited-overs internationals.
Haddin was this week ruled out of the rest of Australia’s tour with the broken finger he sustained during the third npower Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston last month.
That has paved the way for Paine, 24, to make his international bow against Scotland in the one-off match in Edinburgh today.
With no other recognised wicketkeeper in Australia’s squad, Paine is also set to be thrust into action for the two Twenty20 and seven ODIs against England that follow.
With the next World Cup only two years away, Paine admits his chance has come at an opportune moment, and, for the time being at least, hopes to prove he is the best man to be Haddin’s understudy.
“It’s very exciting for me to get this chance, I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“It is obviously unlucky for Brad but it is a great opportunity for me to try and cement myself as the number two keeper behind Brad.”
Paine is highly rated by Tasmania - he was recently named vice-captain for the new season - while his hard-hitting at the top of the order has marked him as a player to follow in the footsteps of Haddin and Adam Gilchrist in Australia colours.
An impressive Australia A series against Pakistan A earlier this year, during which he hit 134 when opening in one match, prompted his call to the senior side.
That came last week when he was selected as back-up to Haddin for the fifth Ashes Test at the Brit Oval after concerns over Graham Manou’s fitness.
And, while he admitted it was disappointing to see the Ashes lost so soon after his arrival, Paine believes the extra week has helped his preparation ahead of the next month of matches.
“To get to spend a week with all the boys beforehand has been very helpful,” said Paine. “Just to get to know them and be around them and get that international experience and see the pitches has been good.
“Losing the Ashes was obviously tough but we’re pretty keen to get back at it and get on the winner’s list.”