Tim Paine has lapped up the praise from Australians who’ve watched and enjoyed The Test, while admitting the popular documentary’s ability to fire up rival captain Joe Root was an added bonus.
Paine’s leadership skills are front and centre in the behind-the-scenes Amazon production that charts Australia’s path back from the 2018 sandpaper scandal to Ashes retention.
The captain admits all the feedback has been positive and couldn’t hide his delight when told it had stirred something in Root when he started watching it too.
“I hope Joe enjoyed it; I know a lot of people in Australia have certainly enjoyed it,” he said.
“It’s gone down really well and we’re proud of how it came up.
“What we wanted to do was give fans a bit of insight, not so much international opposition captains but if it’s given Joe extra motivation then that’s fantastic.”
Paine was thrust into the top job when both Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were suspended and stripped of their captaincy as punishment for the Cape Town ball-tampering affair two years ago.
Smith is now free to captain again but Paine, 35, has indicated he has no immediate retirement plans as he chases the inaugural World Test Championship later next year.
The wicketkeeper didn’t think the documentary had changed his standing internally, but did admit it may’ve bolstered his public perception.
“I’ve always known exactly where I stood (with Cricket Australia’s coaches and selectors),” he said.
“It is nice that I’ve got some nice feedback that people like the way I’m going about it and I guess I’m like everyone, sometimes you need a pat on the back.
“It’s been a great thing for our game, the team and the Australian public and potentially opposition captains like Joe Root.”
Paine said he would support Smith if he did wish to pursue the captaincy again “down the track”, while also putting forward Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey and Pat Cummins as other solid options.
“I haven’t had that conversation with him, I probably will at some stage, no doubt,” Paine said of any discussions with Smith about his leadership aspirations.
“If Steve Smith decides that’s the way he wants to go, then I would fully support him.”