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The selectors shouldn't forget Tim Paine

Roar Guru
5th January, 2017
9

I’ve been super impressed by the batting prowess of 32-year-old Tim Paine opening the innings for Hobart in the BBL so far. Impressed in a most nostalgic way – once a favourite of mine, I’d almost forgotten of Paine’s raw ability, mainly due to him missing so much cricket for a wrath of reasons.

It caused me to wonder whether or not we will see him in Australian colours again; the Tasmanian has not played Test cricket since 2010, or limited-overs internationals since 2011.

Seeing him clock up over 200 runs from just four BBL matches has been most impressive, and his form back in October for the Matador Cup was solid without being outstanding.

While Paine’s efforts at Test level were far from disgraced all those years ago – notching two fifties from just four matches – the thought of him playing more Test cricket in the future is very much a long shot.

Particularly because he is not currently playing first-class cricket for his state, with the Tigers opting for a vision into the future with Jake Doran. That said, I think the selectors would be silly to not have his name in the discussion for limited-overs cricket.

Like many, Matthew Wade’s re-entry into the Test side has hardly filled me with confidence. For someone brought back into the team to bolster the batting unit, perhaps a score above 30 would suffice occasionally.

Personally, my obvious choices to take the gloves in India and beyond, are either Sam Whiteman or Peter Nevill.

Whiteman has tremendous upsides and adds plenty with the bat, while Nevill would be hard-done-by to be thrown on the scrapheap permanently, especially after several gritty innings at important times, and with the tidy, competent glove-work we simply cannot come to expect from Wade.

If Paine can continue his most impressive start to BBL06, his name must surely be brought into contention.

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At 32, Paine still has a few years of good, top-level cricket in him remaining, and I think his selection in limited-overs cricket for Australia would be an astute move.

In 26 ODI matches for Australia between 2009-11, Paine managed 737 runs with five half-centuries and one century included in there.

He would still be an excellent fit for the national One-Day or T20 line-ups, and despite being a man who will certainly remain as a player largely unfulfilled, the door is still slightly open for the classy keeper/batsman.