A host of leading cricketer figures, including three great Australians, have questioned Tim Paine’s future as a test captain.
The four-test stretch between Australia and India, which is locked at 1-1, is still alive before the last day of the final match., despite the fact that seven of the frontline tourists are no longer participating.
India had already lost captain Virat Kohli, fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and batsman Hanuma Vihari before the Brisbane test.
And although he has since returned, his injury limited paceman Navdeep Saini to just 7.5 overs in India’s opening innings with the ball at The Gabba.
Visitors have lost a long list of superstars, but rookies who have filled their huge boots – like Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur – ensured that India remained in the fight.
Australian leg rotation legend Shane Warne interviewed Paine captain.
“I think India have been the best team in this series, but I think Australia had so many chances to win this series that they just didn’t grab them,” Warne said on the Fox Cricket cover.
“I think sometimes their tactics weren’t good enough, and I guess it has to come down to Tim Paine as captain.
“Why didn’t he do some things? He didn’t have the best time behind the stumps.
“But it’s also the bowlers, it’s not just the captain. Bowlers have the right to say which fields they want, what tactics they want.
“I was surprised by Australia’s tactics, especially yesterday and sometimes in Sydney.”
Former fast star Brett Lee not only took aim at Paine’s harbor master’s office, but his work with the gloves.
Paine has long been considered Australia’s purest wicket keeper, but he surprised the masses in the Border-Gavaskar series with a handful of drops.
“He probably didn’t have the best streak as a glove of his own high standards,” Lee on Fox Cricket.
“Tim Paine is normally a superstar behind the stumps, he takes these takes, he takes these layoffs.
“As the Australian leader, at The Gabba it’s hot, the conditions are probably against him, everything is going. He rode with a reference yesterday afternoon, and unlike Tim Paine, this pressure, you feel it begins to rise. “
India returned in The Gabba Test on the backs of rookie Sundar and Test rookie Thakur, who combined for a seventh wicket partnership of 123 races on day three.
India’s third-highest wicket partnership ever in a test in Australia took the team away 6-186 to 7-309, before being knocked out just 33 points from the total of the first innings of the hosts.
Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting said Paine should have ordered his bowlers to shoot more short balls, although former Australian paceman Simon O’Donnell believed they played too short.
Either way, the disagreements put the spotlight on Paine’s harbor master’s office.
Australia must win the fourth test to claim the Border-Gavaskar trophy as it is currently in the hands of India.
India have won the last two series – in Australia in the summer of 2018-19 and at home in 2017 – while Australia have not claimed the silverware since the 2014-15 season.
Well-respected journalist Robert Craddock has said anything other than winning an Australian series would be a major concern.
“If the trophy is not collected from India it is a very bad result for Australia,” Craddock told Fox Cricket.
“You look at players like Matthew Wade, can he exist if he doesn’t shoot today?
“And Tim Paine scored 50 first innings and a half century in the first test … he’s doing well, and he’ll lead the team to South Africa next month, but then there’s the Ashes, that’s a completely different proposition, will it last that long?
“Everything is on the table.”
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