Australian legend Shane Warne has urged the selectors to drop wicketkeeper-batter Tim Paine from the current Aussie team for the upcoming Ashes 2021-22. Warne reckoned Paine’s position in the team was fading away even before his recent texting scandal.
Notably, Paine stood down as Australian cricket captain on Friday after it was revealed he had engaged in a series of lewd text messages in late 2017. However, in his announcement of stepping down from captaincy, Paine made it clear that he wants to keep playing and finish the Ashes series against arch-rivals England.
“I wasn’t going to retire, I’d been pretty clear I wanted to keep playing and potentially finish after this Ashes series. I see that as the ultimate high, to be able to finish your test career after winning an Ashes series in Australia. That’s the dream,” Paine told NewsCorp.
But according to Warne, Paine was struggling to keep his place in the side. Warne cited the 2-1 home series loss to India and said Paine had experienced a tough time with his captaincy in recent times.
“It’s certainly not the way anyone would have wanted Tim’s tenure to end, but even before the revelations, it was becoming clear that he’d done his job as a good spokesman for the team, and his spot was already starting to look a bit shaky,” Warne wrote in his column for the Herald Sun.
“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. It seemed that maybe his time was up. His own performances with the gloves and bat weren’t great. Plus, the team wasn’t winning. A lot of people were thinking that, including me,” he added.
The 52-year-old observed there are some other options, such as Matthew Wade, Alex Carey, and Josh Inglis, who all could replace Paine in the Test side. But the legendary cricketer weighted on the name of Inglis and picked him as his choice.
“We have Matthew Wade, Alex Carey, and Josh Inglis as more aggressive and better batting options at number seven,” asserted Warne.
“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,” Warne added further.