I know it is an unpleasant way to look at the current bunch of Australian cricketers, but many of them are starting to near towards their expiry date.
Many people have publicised the likes of the next batting and bowling prospects, so I’m going to buck the trend and examine the possible candidates for the next wicketkeeper, once 37-year-old Brad Haddin steps down.
Wade is the most experienced glovesman on the international stage out of all of the candidates, with Test centuries and several caps next to his name. He is also a mainstay for the one day team when Haddin can’t play, as he is also captain of his state. Wade is a strong bat and can play up at six, which was proven in 2012 when he scored a century against Sri Lanka at the SCG.
Even though Wade has played plenty of international cricket, he is known for being a sloppy glovesman. Wade has dropped plenty of catches, as they are mostly in tight situations. Just take a look at him ducking away from the ball in the recent Big Bash League game between the Stars and Renegades. His batting is aggressive and busy, but after a few years out of the Test team he has not improved his first class batting nor keeping.
Tim Paine (Tasmania)
In my eyes, Paine is an ideal choice. He is hitting his peak form as a wicketkeeper at 30 years of age, as he has played a few Test matches for Australia in the past. He is well renowned in Australia and is a slick keeper, with skills that far surpass Wade behind the stumps. Paine also has the ability to bat anywhere in a batting line up, as he has batted high and at number seven for his state and country.
Numerous injuries have derailed Paine for long periods of time. It is unknown whether a new injury will occur or whether an old one will resurface and he will have lengthy stints outside the boundary line. He doesn’t have much experience recently at international level and seems to have been forgotten by selectors after injuries. To me though, Tim Paine is the man for the job for a couple of years.
Sam Whiteman (Western Australia)
Whiteman is only 22 and is firing well. He is a clean keeper and has taken some brilliant catches. He has also batted particularly well, being able to fill in the number seven position with ease. Whiteman also has experience as the lead keeper for Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers, as he has kept to the fierce bowling of Mitchell Johnson at the bouncy WACA pitch.
For all of his prospects and talent, Whiteman is still only a young man. He hasn’t played enough first class cricket and he has had no international experience. Whiteman is the man who should take over from Paine in a few years, as he has time on his side to entrench himself in the Western Australian line-up.
Chris Hartley (Queensland)
Hartley has been plugging away at stave level for many years. He has gathered a huge total of dismissals and is known as one of the cleanest keepers in our land. He has had plenty of experience in many years of first class cricket and can definitely perform with the bat.
Hartley’s main problem is that he has appeared to have missed the boat. At the age of 32 it is not much use putting him in if he only has a couple of years left. The only way that Hartley could be picked is if he can perform into his late thirties, but that is a rare feat for keepers. Hartley also lacks international experience and it is unknown how he would cope with such scrutiny on him.
Peter Nevill (New South Wales)
Nevill has been Haddin’s understudy for several years in New South Wales, and he has surely picked up many different tricks from Australia’s number one keeper. His batting is also exceptional, as he is a smooth keeper who performs honestly with his heart on his sleeve.
For many years Nevill hasn’t been able to keep in the wake of Haddin returning to New South Wales. He has zero experience on the international stage and he still hasn’t completely proven himself at state level, although a few years of great results could change our perception of him.
Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
Ryan Carters (New South Wales)
Tim Ludeman (South Australia)
Ben Dunk (Tasmania)
Former England captain Nasser Hussain says the tourists can’t risk a slow start to the Ashes next week and need to throw Ben Stokes straight into the fray. Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne talks about his cricket ‘obsession’, and Warnie’s at it again, with Nathan Lyon in the cross hairs, in this edition of Ashes Scout.
A groundswell of support for Jhye Richardson – spurred earlier in the week by Shane Warne – prompted another former Australian bowler to remind everyone of Mitchell Starc’s value to the side. Who would you pick?
Tim Paine is out of the Ashes and he may not play Test cricket again after taking an indefinite break. While it’s a loss to the Australian team the notion that Paine is great based on averages or even a better batsman than Ian Healy is misplaced.
Josh Inglis’ quick rise of form throughout the first-class Sheffield Shield campaign had selectors questioning if he would be a likely new replacement for Tim Paine, Australia’s most recent Test wicketkeeper and Test captain.