If it were we, it is not the way we would have preferred to ascend to the captaincy of Australia’s Test cricket team, but the resignation of Steve Smith opened the door for a deserving successor in Tim Paine.
Paine’s first task, it would seem, will be to repair the damage left behind by his predecessor and to find some adequate replacements. The bans of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have opened up three new spots with the team, but Paine may have to offer those spots to more than three players to find some willing to take a role in what was once the most coveted position to which a cricket player could aspire.
Paine was looking towards a future as a coach when he retired from playing, something he nearly did when he had difficulty getting a game for Tasmania in Sheffield Shield play.
He will be Australia’s 46th Test Captain.
Paine told reporters, in a story picked up by the AAP, “I’ve always thought about going into coaching or something like that after cricket. So I’ve constantly sort of written things down that I’ve liked about coaches and other leaders that I’ve played under.I supposed to try to take bits that I like and mould it to something that fits me.”
He is avoiding talk about his plans for the moment, preferring to let the rort settle for a bit, but it would appear that Cricket Australia does not consider Paine to be an interim appointment.
Cricket followers may recall that another Tasmanian once served as Test Captain and even those who lack the necessary recall will remember the name of Ricky Ponting.
Paine is just the fourth keeper to rise to the Captaincy.
He harbours no reservations as to his ability to handle the duties of a Captain, bat and keep.
“I can, no doubt. Batting down the order as well, I’ve got a lot of time to sit and think,” he said.
He managed to keep quite well, no worse than adequately, in the South African Test, staying in the lineup behind the wickets despite dealing with a broken thumb.