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Paine's time as wicketkeeper-batter for Australia is over, asserts Warne

 
Sydney, Nov 22 (IANS) Australian spin bowling legend Shane Warne feels that Tim Paine's time as wicketkeeper-batter for the side was over, and that players such as Matthew Wade, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis should get a look-in from the Cricket Australia (CA) selection committee for the Ashes series beginning at the Gabba on December 8.

Under Paine's captaincy, Australia lost the home Test series to India 2-1, and with the sexting scandal out in the open, several former players, including former wicketkeeper- batter Ian Healy, are questioning the logic behind keeping the 37-year-old in the Playing Xi for the Ashes, as his presence could be a "distraction" to the side.

Warne, in his column for the Herald Sun on Monday, said that, "It seemed that maybe his (Paine's) time was up. His own performances with the gloves and bat weren't great, we have Matthew Wade, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis as more aggressive and better batting options at number seven. Plus the team wasn't winning."

Warne said that Paine's hold on the specialist No. 7 position was waning much before the sexting scandal came out in the open.

"When you take a close look at his position at number seven in the batting order, and the other candidates to play that role, the other standout wicketkeeper/batsmen around the country and the runs they were making, there was a groundswell of people starting to ask if Tim Paine was in fact the best option for the Test team.

"He had his moments during recent series -- especially last summer against India -- which left us all questioning his tactical nous and his actual playing role. Bowlers are to blame here too, but the captain has to be held accountable," added Warne.

Warne felt that Australia's T20 World Cup hero Matthew Wade, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis were all ideal candidates to take over from Paine, adding that Inglis would be his top choice.

"Inglis gets my vote. He's got silky smooth hands behind the stumps, he's a 360 degree player with the bat and coming off three first class hundreds last season for WA. He's a great team man who I saw first-hand at the London Spirit this year. He's 26. Bang, get him in," added Warne.

--IANS

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