Paine not biting at Warne's Test criticism

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tim Paine has done his best to shoulder arms at Shane Warne's latest criticism as the Australian captain attempts to regain fitness for next month's Ashes opener.

The wicketkeeper trained fully on Thursday for the first time since neck surgery in September to treat a bulging disc and skipped a planned follow-up session on Friday after "pulling up a little sore".

He said there were no concerns though and hopes to play as many as four games before the first Test at the Gabba starting on December 8.

Paine's return comes as Afghanistan's November 27 Test against Australia in Hobart was officially postponed by Cricket Australia and a series of tour matches were locked in ahead of the Gabba Ashes opener.

Paine's ginger state could have been inflamed as he attempted to duck and weave Warne's attack on him and the side.

The leg-spinning great this week declared Paine had "had a shocker the last couple of years as captain ... tactically very poor and ... can't make a run".

However only Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin average more than Paine's 32.63 among Australian wicketkeepers and he has averaged close to 40 in his last two Test series.

"I'm going to let it go ... bite my tongue. I've got some things I need to concentrate on first," Paine told SEN Hobart on Friday.

"Warnie is obviously very opinionated ... his job is to critique and give his opinion."

When it was put to Paine that Warne's comments were more fabrication that critique, Paine simply replied "potentially".

Paine did concede his Test side were far from the finished product though, after their shock series loss to a desperately-undermanned India last summer.

Test tours to Bangladesh and South Africa have both been cancelled due to COVID-19 since.

"We're not hiding from the fact we haven't played our best Test cricket ... particularly last summer (against India)," Paine said.

"The summer before that we won five-nil (against Pakistan and New Zealand), and we've had very, very little Test cricket.

"This team has had some challenges that no other Australian team has.

"We're fighting our way through them and sometimes you don't quite play at your best."

Quarantine periods for those Test stars currently competing in the Twenty20 World Cup will also complicate the Ashdes build-up, with an intra-squad three-day match from December 1-3 in Brisbane a rare red-ball opportunity.

While Warne suggested there were "a lot of gaps" in Australia's potential XI, Paine had been encouraged by the domestic form of Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Travis Head.

He said those three were all pushing their case to fill vacancies either at the top of the order or at "five or six".

"The guys that have been talked about to be in the frame have all been scoring runs, making (selection chairman) George Bailey's job more and more difficult," Paine said.

Pre-Ashes series matches:-

* November 23-25: England v England Lions - Redlands, Brisbane.

* November 30-December 3: England v England Lions - Ian Healy Oval, Brisbane.

* December 1-3: Australian squad internal trial - Redlands, Brisbane.

* December 9-12: Australia A v England Lions - Ian Healy Oval, Brisbane.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting