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AFP
November 8, 2019

Adam Gilchrist sees ‘no rush to push Paine out’ of Test side

Sports

AFP
November 8, 2019

SYDNEY: Former Australia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has backed the Test team’s incumbent Tim Paine to continue leading the side, after question marks emerged over his future in the aftermath of the Ashes series in England.

With Steve Smith proving to be unstoppable with the bat through the five-Test showdown and fast approaching the end of his two-year Cricket Australia-imposed leadership ban for ball tampering, there have been increasing murmurs about the future of Paine in the Test side.

Paine’s batting credentials have often been the subject of criticism – he has two first-class centuries in 126 games – and talks around his long-term place in the side have only grown louder after his moderate success at the Ashes, where he totalled 180 runs in ten innings.

“(If you look at) what he took on, when he took it on, he in partnership with Justin (Langer, the coach) and all the players have done a remarkable job over the past 12 months to just get a nice, stable balance back,” Gilchrist said at an event in Mumbai.

“I can’t see any rush to push him out, as long as he’s still performing, like we all had to, to stay in the team. Like every other player, he’s got a hold of his spot in the team as being selected as the best available option for that player type. I think he’s doing a wonderful job (as captain).”

Gilchrist also spoke glowingly of Australia’s contention for next year’s home T20 World Cup. They have begun their build to the showpiece T20I event with an unbeaten run after five games in the format to start off their home season.

Australia have made a bright start to their home season, with four wins in four completed T20Is. Having brought in a wealth of experienced T20 specialists into their squad, it appears as though Australia are finally getting their head around T20 cricket, as they push for their maiden triumph in a world event in the format.

“I think Australia are really well-placed, seeing how they’ve started the summer. They love the conditions, they play well in the bigger grounds. We’ve got everyone available now, and probably for the first time, Australia are looking to pick their best XI regularly, rather than just for the World Cups,” Gilchrist said.

“They’re probably still working out whether they should play two spin bowlers or one spinner, with a batting all-rounder like Mitch (Mitchell) Marsh or (Marcus) Stoinis.

“Ashton Agar is doing a really good job, and if you look at all the successful bowlers in T20 around the world, they’re all spinners. Nine out of the top ten, I think, are spinners. “They’ve got a really well-balanced squad and have time to work out their ideal combination for the World Cup.”

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