Australia Test skipper Tim Paine’s leadership was under the scanner when the hosts weren’t able to convert the advantages into victories in the last two Tests against India. But the criticism directed at Paine was termed “wide of the mark” as he was backed as the captain for the South Africa series when the national selectors announced the squad on Wednesday. National selector Trevor Hohns revealed that the panel didn’t spend a minute discussing Paine’s position as skipper when they announced the squad.
“Tim’s leadership in our mind was never in question, we didn’t spend one minute on Tim’s leadership during our selection meeting,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Hohns as saying.
Last week, former Australia spinner Shane Warne said there might be a “huge fallout” in the near future as many positions have come under the scanner after the loss.
“I think there’ll be a huge fallout from this. There’s not too many times that you lose to the second or third (choice) side,” Foxsports.com.au quoted Warne as saying.
Hohns feels Paine was unfairly criticised after Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was breached on the back of some remarkable performances from Indian batsmen Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant last week.
“He’s been a terrific leader through some pretty trying circumstances. I must say, too, if you don’t mind, some of the criticism he’s had to endure in,” said Hohns.
“Our view has been pretty wide of the mark and in particular some of it has been in poor taste from overseas people. I think Tim has been unfairly criticised in this instance,” he added.
Matthew Wade was left out of Australia’s Test squad for the South Africa tour, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday.
Wade will instead tour New Zealand for the T20I series as Australia will play both with New Zealand and South Africa in February and March.
The Australian T20I squad will be captained by Aaron Finch and coached by Andrew McDonald.
CA has previously stated its intention to complete the three-Test tour of South Africa, which forms part of the Future Tours Program and the World Test Championship.
The tour is subject to final sign-off between the Cricket South Africa and CA boards.
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