Interim one-day skipper Tim Paine says he can hold off the irresistible case of Alex Carey and turn his unexpected reprieve in coloured clothing into a shot at World Cup glory next year.
Paine's remarkable career transformation continued this week when he was named interim captain for Australia's Qantas ODI Tour of England in June, the Test skipper's inclusion made with a view to maintaining consistent leadership in a playing group still reeling from the South Africa ball-tampering saga.
It was a call-up that came as a surprise to Paine himself after he'd been told by selectors earlier this year that he was not part of Australia's plans for their World Cup defence in the UK.
But the suspension of leadership duo Steve Smith and David Warner led to a change of plans and Paine wants to make his second chance count.
"I certainly wasn't expecting to be part of the one-day set-up going forward, that was the information I was given," Paine said on Thursday.
"But obviously with the events that have happened, I'm thrilled to have been given another opportunity.
"I've been told it's an interim role at the moment. But I'm in the side and I am the captain so my goal is to make it last ... (and) to play as long as I can.
"I want to be involved in the World Cup if I can.
"This is a huge opportunity for me to go over to where the World Cup is going to be held, against the best team in the world, play well and captain well and show I've got plenty more to add in one-day cricket."
It had been expected that Carey, who impressed in his first taste of international cricket this year, would be Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman in white-ball cricket going forward and the 26-year-old last week earned the strong endorsement of three-time World Cup winner Adam Gilchrist.
Carey has been included alongside Paine in a 15-man squad for the UK tour, but it remains to be seen if he'll be given a chance in the side as a batsman.
The left-hander, who opens in one-day and T20 cricket domestically, is set to battle veteran Shaun Marsh, uncapped batsman D'Arcy Short and possibly state captain Travis Head for the chance to replace Warner as Aaron Finch's opening partner.
Paine opens in one-day cricket domestically and his first stint in the ODI side came at the top of the order, including a century against England at Trent Bridge in 2009.
But the right-hander expects to fill the No.7 spot, where he batted in Australia's 1-4 series loss to England in January.
"Obviously our batting order at the moment is a little bit up in the air, we've got a few new guys coming into it," Paine said.
"I think I'll be batting down at No.7.
"We've got D'Arcy Short and Shaun Marsh who've come into the squad, so I'd imagine they'd be the first options to replace Davey Warner. We've also got Alex Carey, who's batted a lot at the top of the order for South Australia and done really well."
Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe
ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas Tour of England
June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)
June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's
June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)
June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff
June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)
June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final