Tim Paine’s selection on the Australian side for the upcoming Ashes series created quite a furore as former cricketers and the Australian media questioned the decision by the national selectors. But this hasn’t deterred Paine from focusing on the task that lies ahead.
Speaking to reporters, the Tasmanian, who has not been keeping for his state team in the Sheffield Shield, said, ” I always had faith I would be playing. I didn’t know what level that would be but I think in the last few years, in particular, I started to slightly angle myself towards some white-ball cricket.”
“I’ve always been plugging away and been keen to get back in the Tassie Shield team and always had confidence that my best cricket would be good enough,” he added.
Recalling the period where he took time to work on his batting, Paine said, “With the time I’ve had off I’ve reshaped my batting. I was battling mentally. I was out there thinking I was going to get hit and if I did get hit I’d never play again. It certainly rattled me a lot.”
Revealing that he went on to consult a sports psychologist to enhance his performance on the field. the 32-year-old said, “The first step was actually going to speak to someone (sports psychologist) about that and be honest about it, that I was really battling. I feel in a really good place with it.”
“The past five-six months I’ve really started to bat well again and I’ll go into this Test with some confidence,” he added.
Reiterating his desire of making most of this opportunity, Paine said, “I’ve played Test cricket before so I know what to expect,” he said. “And I’ve had some success in the few Tests I have played, so I’ll take some confidence from that. I’m not here for five minutes, I’m here to make the most of this opportunity.”