Paine under no pressure to justify Australia captaincy

Australia captain Tim Paine
Australia captain Tim Paine
Modified 02 Aug 2019

Tim Paine insists he has no need to justify his place as Australia's captain heading into the opening Ashes Test against England.

Australia and England clash in the first Test of the five-match series at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Paine was named Australia's captain after Steve Smith was stripped of the role after the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

The wicket-keeper has scored only one first-class century in his career and some doubts have been raised over his role, but he feels no need to fear his place despite Smith's return to the team, alongside former deputy David Warner.

On the eve of the Ashes, asked if he felt he had to justify his position, Paine told reporters: "No, I do not at all. I'm 34, I don't really care about my place in the side any more. I'm here to do a job.

"I've been put in this team to captain and wicket-keep to the best of my ability and at 34, if you are looking further ahead than the next Test match you are kidding yourself.

"I'm not going to waste time looking over my shoulder. I'm enjoying the job that I'm doing."

Cameron Bancroft drilling his short leg catching with the help of Matthew Wade at @Edgbaston ahead of the first #Ashes Test...
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) July 30, 2019



Australia regained the Ashes in style on home turf in the 2017-18 series, winning 4-0, but they have not won a Test series on English soil since 2001. 

Paine, though, feels this Australia squad are capable of retaining the urn against an England side struggling for consistency in the longest form of the game.

"[The Ashes] means a hell of a lot. Every time you play Test cricket against anyone it's a real honour to be out there representing your country," Paine said.

"The history of the Ashes takes that to another level. We are excited, we have an opportunity to come to England and do something that even some of our great teams haven't managed to do in the last 20 years.

"We have the self-belief that we can do it. Everyone can't wait."

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Published 31 Jul 2019, 20:42 IST
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