Tim Paine’s unexpected call-up to the Australian side for the Ashes series has sparked widespread debate across the Australian cricketing fraternity. This was after he got the nod over the likes of Matthew Wade, Peter Nevill and young Alex Carey. Incidentally, Paine, who did not keep wickets for Tasmania in their opening three Sheffield Shield matches, is not even the first-choice keeper for his state team. However, clearing the air Australia’s selection chairman, Trevor Hohns maintained that Paine is the best gloveman in the country and added to that are his good skills with the bat.
“It was fairly tough. We had a lengthy debate about the wicket-keeping position. With Tim, it’s been widely acknowledged for a small amount of time now that he is regarded as the best gloveman in the country. Add that to the fact that he is our T20 wicketkeeper and performs very, very well there. His batting has been pretty good of late,”, Cricinfo quoted Hons.
Commenting on the other contenders for the same slot, Hons stated, “Then, of course, you go the other side of the coin, the unconvincing performances of the other wicket-keeping contenders. That’s no disrespect to those other wicketkeepers either because there are a couple of quite good young keepers out there that we certainly have our eye on for the future.”
Meanwhile, the selection of Paine hasn’t particularly gone down well with certain former players. Former leg-spinner Stuart McGill, in particular, was scathing in his attack. “Ashes selections…. made by morons mascarading as mentors. Times up gents,”, he wrote on Twitter.