Tim Paine is an exciting wicket-keeper batsman who has started to find his feet in international cricket. He may not be in the mould of an Adam Gilchrist but the Tasmanian can still pack a punch with a bat in hand and is also a safe bet behind the wickets.
Even as a youngster, Paine assumed a leadership role and was made captain of the Under-15 and Under-17 Tasmanian teams. He also captained Australia’s Under-19 World Cup team in 2004. He debuted for Tasmania against South Australia in 2005 but his maiden first -class century came against Western Australia, a masterly knock of 215. In 2006-07, he was the highest run-getter in ODIs for Tasmania and also became their first-choice keeper affecting 21 dismissals in the season. Since then, Paine has been acquainted with the task of combining his batting and wicket-keeping. He was then selected to represent the Australia A side against Pakistan A where his performances earned him a call to the national setup. An injury to Brad Haddin marked Paine’s ODI debut against Scotland in 2009 where he scored 29 runs and prized a catch. He also made his T20I debut in a rain affected match against England the same year. Paine was part of Australia’s World Twenty20 squad in 2009 but didn’t get a look in. His Test debut came a year later against Pakistan at the historic Lords’ in which he performed admirably with the gloves.
‘Kid’ as he is nicknamed, generally opens the batting for Australia in ODIs as opposed to Tasmania where he bats in the lower middle-order. He is more of an orthodox batsman who tries to get settled and then go for the big shots. His wicket keeping skills are also sound though he is not as acrobatic as a Mark Boucher or even Brad Haddin. Paine is expected to fill the void left by Gilchrist as Australia herald in a new generation of cricketers. He was handed over the vice-captaincy of the Twenty20 side in early 2011. He was also bought by Pune Warriors India in the IPL.