Ashes rival Kevin Pietersen believes Tim Paine has “never been up to” the job of captaining Australia and won’t be in the role for much longer.
Paine’s position in the Australian Test side, as well as his captaincy, are under much scrutiny following his side’s shock 2-1 series loss to an injury-ravaged Indian side.
‘TOP GESTURE’: India's incredible act for Nathan Lyon
Many are calling for Paine’s head as the fallout from the embarrassing defeat continues.
According to Pietersen, Paine isn’t even good enough to be in the Test side let alone the captain.
“Australians don’t like to lose and the knives will be out for a few members of that team after this defeat,” Pietersen told Betway on Wednesday.
“I believe that Cricket Australia will soon be looking for a new captain – Paine has never, ever been up to it.
“He got chucked into that position when Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft got caught up in the sandpaper controversy, but from my perspective, having played against him and watched him, he’s not an Australia captain.
“He’s just not a good enough player, apart from anything else. I would never have made him captain in the first place, and he’s probably never going to lead them into another Test match.”
Paine was thrust into the captaincy position when then-captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were banned for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
Warner is banned from holding any leadership position within the national team ever again, while Smith’s two-year captaincy ban has since expired.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 19, 2021
— Minhaz Merchant (@MinhazMerchant) January 19, 2021
I wish I could say I’m shocked by the comments about @tdpaine36 but I’m not. Typical Australians like to slam our own. This bloke through hard work has got our cricket team back to being a respectable outfit. Yes we lost the series but stand by him and back him in! The end.
— Tex Walker (@texwalker13) January 20, 2021
Some grim chat from former players about Tim Paine’s tactics from the same blokes that wanted Australia to declare when we had a lead of 250 👍👍👍 Go well fellas
— Ian Higgins (@1an_Higgins) January 20, 2021
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) January 19, 2021
Ricky Ponting’s endorsement for Tim Paine
While many have been calling for Smith to be handed the captaincy once again, Aussie legend Ricky Ponting believes Paine is still the man for the job.
The former Test captain has called on Cricket Australia to publicly endorse Paine and put the speculation to bed.
“I think he’ll be captain there and I think he’ll be captain next summer in the Ashes as well,” Ponting told Channel 7 about Australia’s upcoming tour of South Africa.
“One way or the other they absolutely should do that. There is no reason why they should need to prolong it.”
According to veteran cricket writer Robert Craddock, senior figures within Cricket Australia are “perpetually concerned” about the lack of options to replace Paine as captain.
One option is current vice-captain Pat Cummins, however there are fears about placing extra pressure on the bowling spearhead.
“Pat Cummins will obviously come into the thinking because he’s vice-captain, but the worry will be you’ll end up with a similar problem the next time Australia are in day five [of a Test match],” Mark Taylor told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Maybe I’m selling Pat Cummins a bit short, but it’s a lot to do to be the No. 1 strike bowler or the keeper, and be the captain on day five in Sydney and day five at the Gabba.
“One of the problems that Tim was always going to have [as captain] was being a keeper.”
Things got ugly for Paine after India’s stunning win at the Gabba sealed the 2-1 series victory - Australia’s first loss at the ground in 32 years.
Paine was loudly booed by fans at the Gabba during the post-match ceremony, including by a number of Aussies in attendance.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.