Marcus Harris advocates for Tim Paine: The Australia opening batter hopes for his former captain to play as a wicket-keeper batter.
Australia opening batter Marcus Harris has become the latest member of the current Test team to lend support to former Test captain Tim Paine. Paine, 36, had resigned as Test captain after news of his involvement in a four-year old sexting scandal came out in the public last week.
While vice-captain Pat Cummins and former captain Steven Smith are appearing to be two front-runners for the high-profile job, a lot of speculation is also being made on Paine’s spot in the Playing XI.
“We are looking forward to him [Tim Paine] getting up here and getting on with cricket. When you have things going on sometimes the best thing to do is be out in the middle playing cricket, taking your mind off things,” Harris was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
“I think knowing Painey, knowing his character, he’s a pretty strong and resilient bloke. So if anyone can get through it I’m backing Painey to be able to get through that.”
Paine, who is part of Australia’s 15-member squad for the first two Ashes 2021-22 Tests, continues to be available to play as a wicket-keeper batter. However, him not playing as a captain has raised many doubts over his position which includes legendary spinner Shane Warne naming uncapped Josh Inglis as his preferred candidate for the job of a wicket-keeper batter.
Marcus Harris advocates for Tim Paine ahead of 1st Ashes 2021-22 Test
Harris, who has played each one of his 10 Test matches till date under Paine, lauded his former captain labeling him to be the “best gloveman in the country”. Paine might not have scored heaps of runs as Australian captain but he sure has played some valuable innings down the order and the same seems to have caught Harris’ attention.
“He’s done a really good job the past few years under tough circumstances. You could argue he’s still the best gloveman in the country. He played a few really important innings last summer.
“I know he has the support of all the players, and all that other stuff is up to people above me. They have announced the squad for the first two Tests and he will be here in a week or so,” Harris added.
Assuming that Paine receives a green signal from Cricket Australia to play in the first Ashes 2021-22 Test at the Gabba from December 8, he still will have to recover from an ongoing neck injury.