Cricket Australia (CA) staunchly defended under fire practice captain Tim Paine on Wednesday following a back-to-back home series loss to India, saying “some of the comments surrounding his position have been irrelevant.”
Although Paine did well with the bat, his captaincy and performance behind the stumps drew criticism following a heartbreaking 1-2 loss to India in the four-game test series.
“Tim Paine has been excellent at No.7 against India and as a batsman, wicket keeper and captain still has a lot to offer in the test arena,” national selector Trevor Horns said in a statement after Paine was selected as captain for the tour of South Africa.
Paine had taken over the harbor master’s office following South Africa’s ball-tampering scandal in 2018, when then-skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were banned for a year for their role in the infamous incident.
“Tim Paine has been an outstanding captain since taking the helm of the Australian men’s test team under incredibly difficult circumstances,” said Ben Oliver, executive general manager of CA (national teams).
“Some of the comments surrounding Tim and his position as test captain have gone way beyond the threshold.”
He said Paine had the support of the team, the coach and everyone at Cricket Australia and the result of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series did nothing to diminish that.
Oliver said the criticism and scrutiny of Paine’s performance was as expected given the high-profile nature of the series against India.
“Tim is in better career shape with the bat and while the series against India hasn’t been the best with the gloves by his own admission, he remains in the top tier of wicket keepers in the world. .
“And as a leader he was brilliant. Leading a squad through the many challenges posed by the pandemic – especially the unique pressures of hub life – is no easy task and Tim did it with strength, humility, and good humor.