Australian skipper Tim Paine became the fastest wicketkeeper to reach 150 Test dismissals on Sunday. The 36-year-old reached the impressive feat in just 33 games.
On Day Two against India, Paine took three catches to send Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant packing. The second was the most brilliant of the lot. Paine spotted a sharp edge off Pujara's bat and dived fully-stretched on his right to grab a low catch.
Tim Paine's reached the milestone faster than Adam Gilchrist (36) and Mark Boucher (38). The second is South Africa's Quinton de Kock who took 34 Tests to glean 150 dismissals.
Tim Paine's journey to Australia's best wicketkeeper
Tim Paine's early career was dogged by injuries. The Tasmanian consistently scored in Australia's domestic competitions but always remained behind Matthew Wade in the international pecking order.
After than a 6-year gap from his debut, Paine was recalled for the 2017-18 Ashes. At that time, his inclusion was considered a gamble. Some said he was picked above the youngster Alex Carrey because apparently, the latter wasn't 'chirpy' enough.
Tim Paine made inconspicuous but gritty contributions in the lower-order for his team. However, just when his spot started to look in danger, the sandpaper-saga in 2018 intervened. Paine was elevated to the saddle of the Test team and he hasn't looked back since.
At present, the gloveman averages 33.4 in Test cricket with 8 fifties. He was the Man of the Match in Australia's triumph in Adelaide. Coming at a precarious position of 79-5 against a strong attack, Tim Paine lifted his team to a respectable total of 191. His seamless knock of 73 got the admiration of one and all.
Tim Paine has resurrected his image as a formidable leader and a competent gloveman. He had once remarked that he is the best wicketkeeper in Australia. And at the moment, his self-assessment stands uncontested.Published 27 Dec 2020, 12:01 IST