Warne tips captaincy candidate to emerge
Test great questions need for wicketkeeper Paine to be skipper, while also suggesting a reshuffled batting order
18 May 2018, 02:05 PM AEST
Leg-spin legend Shane Warne does not believe current Test and ODI skipper Tim Paine should hold those positions long term.
Warne, who was yesterday announced as a new member of Fox Sports' cricket commentary team, suggested Paine would be better suited to the vice-captaincy, adding that another candidate would likely "come out of the woodwork".
"I think Tim Paine's a quality person," he told Fox Sports. "He's done well in the short time he's been back.
"I don't think a wicketkeeper should be captain – I think they make terrific vice-captains.
"People say there's no-one else – there's always somebody else. Someone will always come out of the woodwork and say, 'Well give me a chance' and they grow into the role.
"So I think he would be a very good vice-captain.
"Hopefully he does a good job as captain. He speaks well and hopefully he'll instill some good values into the team and play a good brand of cricket, but I think in time you'll find he'll be vice-captain and someone else will elevate themselves to captain."
Paine was handed the captaincy following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, and with Steve Smith banned from leadership for two years and David Warner barred from ever holding a leadership role with the national side again, there appears a dearth of obvious captaincy choices.
In his first press conference as new head coach of the men's national team, Justin Langer endorsed the Tasmanian's credentials for the role.
"To me, leadership is everything," Langer said. "Tim (Paine is) a fantastic young bloke, I've loved him since he's come in.
"He's got a bit of charisma, he trains hard, he's fit, he's a very good cricketer.
"I think he'll be outstanding for the job at the moment."
And this week, Langer said he expected Paine to play a role in the election of a Test vice-captain, though the race for that job appears wide open with potential candidates Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh both absent from the upcoming tours of the UK and Zimbabwe, and the men selected in those roles in the ODI and T20 squads (Aaron Finch and Alex Carey respectively) not currently in the Test frame.
"My view has always been that the captain – and this might be a little controversial – should have a pretty big say in who the vice-captain (is)," Langer told Melbourne radio station SEN.
"You need to know as captain, or any leader, that your lieutenants have got your back and you trust them.
"We've had some small discussions about it, but I'm the sort of person who weighs up all the information, talks to people I trust and then makes the decisions … the captain and vice-captain relationship is very important."
Warne also suggested a reshuffle in the Test batting order, with Paine shifted up from No.7 to potentially allow scope for an allrounder or two to bat below him.
"I think he should be batting up the order – I don't think he should be down at seven," he added. "His technique in all forms is pretty good, especially Test and one-day cricket.
"So if you can have him batting at five or six in the Test arena, it opens up some other gaps where you might want to put a (Marcus) Stoinis or Mitchell Marsh as an allrounder."
Australia's Test batting order remains very much a work in progress, with Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Peter Handscomb all playing the final Test in South Africa in the absence of Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft.
Australia's next Test assignment has been slated for October, against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Prior to that, an Australia A tour of India could act as an audition for the contending batsmen.
"There's an Australia A tour to India where there's a couple of four-day games," Langer said.
"I imagine we might leave our selection for Pakistan (in) the UAE quite late, use that build-up and use that match practice.
"I'd suggest it might be a pretty strong Australia A team going to India."