Australia announced their 13-member squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming Ashes series on Friday and the selectors had a surprise in store as they recalled Tim Paine for the first time in seven years. Paine last played for Australia in a Test match back in 2010 and the 32-year-old replaced out of form Matthew Wade in the squad. On his comeback to the Australian side, Paine insisted that this is an opportunity for him and would be looking to make the most of it.
“I do have to dust it off. It’s at mum and dad’s, so I have to go and get it at some stage today and make sure I pack it for tomorrow’s flight. Seven years ago I was playing Test and one-day cricket and I always sort of dreamt it probably was a bit of a dream to be honest that I could get back there…It’s now back in my hands which is a great thing and I can hopefully have who knows, it’s my opportunity to make the most of it,” Paine told reporters.
The wicket-keeper batsman led the CA XI side against England in a tour match earlier this month where he scored a half-century in first innings. Talking about the long break from international cricket, the right-hander did admit that he went through a tough time.
“It’s been a hard road to get back here and I’m extremely proud of the way I’ve gone about things in the last five-six years,” Paine said.
Paine has had a decent exposure at the international level and the Tasmanian cricketer believes that he is ready to face the challenge at the highest level.
“I feel like I’m probably more ready now than I was when I played (before), certainly more mature. I know my game a bit better. I’ve been lucky enough to be around an international cricket team before so I know what to expect so I feel like I’m in a good place for it.”
“I feel I’m ready and can’t wait to get out there and make the most of it,” he said.
Though he was out of the Australian Test team for a long time but Paine travelled with the T20I side when they toured India earlier this year.
“I was in the last Twenty20 side for Australia so it’s not as if I haven’t been wicketkeeping. I keep every day so I’m ready as I’ve ever been with the gloves and I’m just rapt to have the opportunity and I plan on making the most of it.”