Australia captain Tim Paine resembles legendary wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist in many ways, according to head coach Justin Langer. The Aussie chief drew parallels at a virtual press conference on Thursday (December 24) in the build-up to India’s Boxing Day encounter with the hosts.
Quite a few eyebrows were raised when Tim Paine was first elevated to the coveted chair following Steve Smith and David Warner’s bans for their involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.
After a few initial hiccups, the wicketkeeper-batsman has led Australia to the top of the ICC Test rankings and the ongoing World Test Championship. Justin Langer acknowledged the same, saying Tim Paine is an extremely bankable leader in every aspect of the game.
“You think about Adam Gilchrist who transformed the game in this sense and he was an all-time great player. I have got enormous faith in Tim Paine in every part of his game – whether it is wicketkeeping, batting or captaincy,” Langer told reporters.
Albeit having led in fewer matches, Tim Paine boasts a superior win percentage in the longest format than even Steve Smith, Mark Taylor and Allan Border. The 32-year-old has led Australia in 20 Tests and has emerged triumphant in 11 of those - a win percentage of 55.
‘Tim Paine is a great player and a great leader,’ says Langer
But one shouldn’t forget that Tim Paine’s counterattacking 73* off 99 balls in the first innings to cut short India’s lead was of utmost importance in the context of the result. With the hosts precariously placed on 111 for 7, Paine forged crucial stands with the tail to bloat the total to 191.
In addition to his batting exploits, Justin Langer credited Tim Paine for his astute leadership which also resulted in the game-changing run-out of India captain Virat Kohli.
“I have said publicly and privately he [Tim Paine] is such an important player because he is lead wicketkeeper. His leadership is incredible and we saw how well he batted in the first innings under pressure in Adelaide, probably changed the game with the run out of Virat Kohli. He is a great player and a great leader and I literally loved having him in our team,” Langer elaborated.
Australia will go into the Melbourne Test starting December 26 with a 1-0 lead. It’ll be intriguing to see if Tim Paine can capitalise on India’s frailties and further improve his captaincy numbers.
Published 24 Dec 2020, 18:15 IST