Australia Test skipper Tim Paine asserted that he hopes to lead the country at least till the end of the 2021/22 summer, and quipped that he could step away should he find the Ashes victory over England satisfying enough. Paine further said that he would ‘support’ Smith getting back the captaincy.
Two years ago Tim Paine became the first Australian captain in 18 years to retain the Ashes in England, but things have since been rough for the Tasmanian. Talks of who should be the next Australian captain have taken center stage due to Steve Smith’s captaincy ban getting over, and Paine himself has seen his stocks plummet following Australia’s embarrassing loss at home to a third-string Indian side. With him 36 now, people are not just questioning when Paine will step away from captaincy, but are also wondering when the Tasmanian will hang up his boots.
In an interview earlier today, the Aussie skipper clarified that he wishes to skipper Australia in at least six more Tests - one vs Afghanistan and five versus England - and quipped that he could ‘go’ if he finds the Ashes triumph ‘sweet’.
“At least another six Tests,” Paine, according to news.com.au, said, after being questioned how long he sees himself captaining the Test side.
“If I feel like the time is right and we’ve beaten the Poms 5-0, what a way to go out. But it might be a tight series and we might be chasing 300 on the last day and I’m 100 not out and hit the winning runs — and then I might go again.”
Paine was appointed the Australia captain in 2018 after Steve Smith was slapped with a 1-year ban for his involvement in the sandpaper gate, but the incumbent Aussie skipper said that he’ll have no issues handing the captaincy over to Smith, who he described as a very good tactician. Smith is now officially ‘eligible’ to become the Australia captain again and Paine insisted that he will ‘support’ the New South Welshman succeeding him as the Aussie Test skipper.
“I think so. Obviously I don’t make that decision but the time I played with Steve as captain he was excellent. Certainly tactically he is as good as you get,” Paine said, when asked Smith deserved another run as captain.
“He’s probably a bit like me when I was at the start of my captaincy journey in Tasmania — he was thrown into a very big role at a very, very young age and he probably wasn’t quite ready for it.
“But by the time I came in he was growing into that role and getting better and better. Then obviously South Africa events happened and he’s not doing it anymore. But yeah I would support him getting that job again.”
Tim Paine losing a series at home to India in 2018 was considered ‘acceptable’ as Australia boasted of a relatively weak squad, but the Kangaroos’ defeat to a weakened Indian side earlier this year continues to remain a black mark in the Tasmanian’s CV. Speaking of the 2-1 defeat at home to India this year, Paine admitted that Australia took their eyes off the ball, but insisted that it was India’s ‘sideshows’ that distracted the hosts.
“Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,” he said.
“The classic example was when they said they weren’t going to the Gabba so we didn’t know where we were going. They’re very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball.”