Tim Paine has been a decent skipper for Australia in the longest format of the game from the time he was entrusted with the task in the fourth Test against South Africa in the year 2018.
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With 10 wins in 19 Tests, a win percentage of 52.63, and white-wash series wins against Pakistan and New Zealand in the last two series at home, Paine has been pretty bankable as a captain for the Aussies.
Not to forget, he became the first Australian skipper to regain the Ashes on the English soil during the tour of 2019, wherein Australia drew the series 2-2 against Joe Root & Co.
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However, the right-hander hasn’t been able to come up with impressive numbers on the batting front, wherein he averages 31.67 in 31 Tests and has scored 1330 runs with 7 fifty-plus totals. In his last ten innings, he has managed to reap merely two half-centuries and recorded scores of – 0, 58, 23*,1, 21, 13, 39, 0, 79, and 35.
With the much-coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy set to kick off in a few days, and the pressure of performance piling on Paine, former India cricketer, Mohammed Kaif feels that Paine could be involved in heated arguments with the Indian cricketers in the 4-match series.
Tim Paine should focus on his batting and keeping: Mohammed Kaif
Kaif reckons that since the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch, and Pat Cummins compete in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), they would not indulge in any feuds against India in the 4-match series. However, the same doesn’t apply to Tim Paine who doesn’t play in the IPL, and thus, he can confront the visitors.
“All the players who play in the IPL, whether it is (Aaron) Finch, (David) Warner, or (Pat) Cummins, none of them are going to fight now. Tim Paine does not play, he knows that he is not going to come to India, he does not have anything to do with the IPL, so he can confront the Indians,” said Kaif on the Sony Sports Network.
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Kaif further added that in case Paine doesn’t come up with runs against India then he could be dropped from the playing XI. Thus, he advised the 36-year-old Hobart-born to focus majorly on his batting and wicket-keeping.
“I feel by the time the Test series is over, Tim Paine would have been dropped. He is not able to score runs with the bat. He just got the captaincy because Smith and Warner had the problem at the time. They were banned, so he was made the captain in compulsion. Now that they have come back, if he does not score, then his spot in the XI will also be difficult. So it will be better if he concentrates on batting and keeping only this time,” said Kaif while concluding.
Australia had lost the previous Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India at home by a margin of 2-1. With a power-packed attack in the batting and bowling department, the hosts would look to strike the first blood from the opening match at Adelaide Oval from December 17.