Justin Langer praises 'outstanding captain' Tim Paine
Australia coach Justin Langer has expressed his satisfaction and happiness at Tim Paine's tenure as Australia Test captain so far. After the sandpaper saga that saw the axing of former captain Steve Smith, Cricket Australia surprised everyone when they appointed out-of-favour Tim Paine to lead the country in time of extreme media scrutiny.
Langer expects Paine to improve his batting and captaincy with every match he plays. Langer said:
"Tim Paine is doing a brilliant job at the moment as well. He's been outstanding in his time as captain, so however long he wants to keep playing for is another thing."
"The beautiful thing about Tim Paine is that he knows he can get better. He can keep getting better, he will keep learning, and with his youthful enthusiasm, even as a senior player, he's got lots of areas he can improve — that's heartening for him and that's heartening for us."
"But for the moment, he's definitely doing a great job."
As expected, Tim Paine’s journey at the helm was questioned tremendously when he became the first Australian captain to lose a Test series to India at home. His first series in-charge was a loss to Pakistan 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates.
With the return of Steve Smith and David Warner in the side, Australia retained the Ashes after drawing the series 2-2 in England where Tim Paine was lauded for his captaincy skills. But come March 2020, Steve Smith’s captaincy ban will end and it will be interesting to see who would take charge then, keeping in mind the importance of every Test match in the World Test Championship.
However, it’s still unclear whether Steve Smith would be willing to take up the extra burden of captaincy with an already saturated workload he currently is operating under. Smith scored 774 runs in the recently concluded Ashes series at an incredible average of 110.57.
"We have to work out what's best, I mean you saw how exhausted he was [at the end of the Ashes] from the effort he puts into his batting. Whether he wants the burden of captaincy as well, that'll have to be something we work out over time."