Former Australian great Shane Warne feels Tim Paine‘s tenure as Test captain had to come under question regardless of his recent off-field controversy. Warne also firmly stood behind Pat Cummins to replace Paine.
Paine announced his resignation as Test captain on Friday in an emotional press conference. The 36-year old’s decision has come just a few weeks before the Ashes series, and was prompted by Cricket Australia’s unveiling of some explicit texts sent by Paine in 2017.
Writing in his column for the Herald Sun, Shane Warne feels Paine’s performances and captaincy in the home series against India was unsatisfactory. The Victorian feels Australia need an aggressive batter at seven and that the Tasmanian doesn’t deserve a spot.
“When you take a close look at his position at number seven in the batting order, and the other candidates to play that role, the other standout wicketkeeper/batsmen around the country and the runs they were making, there was a groundswell of people starting to ask if Tim Paine was in fact the best option for the Test team.”
“He had his moments during recent series — especially last summer against India — which left us all questioning his tactical nous and his actual playing role. It seemed that maybe his time was up. A lot of people were thinking that, including me.”
Paine didn’t have the best time against India, and eventually became the first Australian captain since 1988 to lose a Test in Brisbane. Not only did the veteran’s tactics come under question, but also his on-field conduct also came under the scanner. Nevertheless, Paine intends to play the upcoming Ashes series.
“I thought about Pat Cummins as captain even before the events of Friday unfolded” – Shane Warne
Shane Warne further said that he had Cummins on his mind as the leader for a long time. He also backs Matthew Wade, Alex Carey or Josh Inglis to stand behind the stumps. Citing Cummins’ tactical nous as something to watch out for, Warne wrote:
“For me the time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, something I thought even before the events of Friday unfolded. The poster boy, respected and loved the world over, Pat Cummins should now be named captain, and either Matt Wade, Josh Inglis or Alex Carey should get their chance to come in and play Paine’s role in the Test team.”
“He’s got the utmost respect from teammates, and everyone in world cricket. He’s earned that from the way he has conducted himself. We want him to continue like that. What we don’t know about is his tactical nous, his cricket brain. We’ll have to watch that unfold.”
While Cummins remains the frontrunner, Cricket Australia are also considering Steve Smith’s return to the role.
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Should Cummins become the captain, it will be the first time since 1956 Australia will have a frontline bowler in the position.