Tim Paine was emphatically criticised for his poor tactics and questionable field placings after India managed to salvage a draw in Sydney. The criticism went up a notch after the visitors became the first team to beat Australia at the Gabba in 32 years.
However, speaking to Fox Cricket, Adam Gilchrist explained why Tim Paine should remain as the captain of the Australia' Test team.
“I don’t think he (Paine) can be held to account for the series loss individually. There were a host of contributing factors. I have never been one to pigeonhole that wicketkeepers can’t be captains," Adam Gilchrist said.
Tim Paine was made the Australian Test captain after the infamous Sandpapergate scandal in 2018 that saw Steve Smith and David Warner get banned for a year.
Adam Gilchrist believes the 36-year-old Tim Paine has done a fine job to help a depleted Australian side stand up on its feet again.
“I think Tim Paine has done a wonderful job in the role he assumed a few years ago. There is no need to go and make any drastic changes at the moment … He has done an outstanding job as the leader of this team.”
Tim Paine's keeping and batting have been 'impeccable' - Adam Gilchrist
Apart from his captaincy, Tim Paine's wicketkeeping and batting process has also come under the scanner.
The 36-year-old was recalled to the Australian squad for the 2017-18 Ashes, as he was deemed to be the 'best wicketkeeper in Australia'. However, Tim Paine dropped three catches on Day 5 in Sydney, including two off Rishabh Pant, who made the hosts pay with a blistering knock of 97.
If Tim Paine had managed to hold on to a chance offered by Hanuma Vihari, Australia could have fancied their chances of winning the Sydney Test. Nevertheless, Adam Gilchrist has backed Tim Paine's keeping prowess and believes the 36-year-old is still the best in the country.
“His (Paine's) keeping up to halfway through this series has been impeccable right since he was recalled in the Ashes four years ago," Adam Gilchrist asserted.
Adam Gilchrist also backed the batting abilities of Tim Paine. The beleaguered Australian captain was the fourth-highest run-scorer for the hosts in the series, scoring 204 runs at a decent average of 40.8.
Gilchrist believes a Test hundred should not be the only factor while judging the batting prowess of a wicketkeeper.
"His (Tim Paine's) batting is as on song as it’s ever been, and what he’s produced by way of runs and results with the bat – you can’t question that at No. 7. Just because he’s not getting 100s doesn’t mean he’s not doing his job, to be averaging in the early 40s in a series as intense as this, he’s done his job there," Gilchrist further added.
It remains to be seen if the Australian selectors think likewise about Tim Paine, who had a verbal spat with Ravichandran Ashwin in Sydney, after the series loss against a depleted Indian team.
Against all odds, Team India, missing up to six first-team regulars, provided a dazzling display of their character and resilience.
The visitors belied expectations to eke out a highly creditable draw in Sydney before breaching Australia's 'fortress' Gabba, pulling off a stunning 328-run chase on the fifth day to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.