"The plan … was to focus just on Test cricket," said Paine in an interview with cricket.com.au. "Then obviously what happened, happened and all of a sudden, we didn't have a captain or vice-captain. So I think it was about having some stability in the team when Justin first took over.
"But I was always aware of the fact that I wasn't going to be the person going forward for the World Cup and they would look in another direction."
Paine was never really in the fray for a spot in the ODI side but with the events unfolding the way it did during the infamous Cape Town Test, the wicket-keeper was handed the Test and temporarily the ODI captaincy as well.
But, by his own admission, Paine knew even before hopping onto the plane for the five-match ODI series in England which Australia lost 5-0, that the selectors were not seeing him as a long-term ODI prospect. The 33-year-old though insists that focussing on one format now is in some ways a "blessing a disguise".
"I saw it coming before the UK tour, to be honest," Paine said. "Clearly, had I gone there and scored three hundreds, things might have been different. But I knew the plan was that this was the way they'd be going.
"I think it will be (a blessing in disguise). It's one of the things that I'm quite excited by – to just focus on one form of the game and focus on how I want this (Test) team to develop."
Paine has been a long-standing advocate of Finch and has no fuss in admitting that the opener is currently Australia's "best player in 50-over cricket". Having played with and against the opener in national and state team, Finch's tactical nous has impressed Paine a fair bit.
"(Finch is) in the prime of his career, he's playing beautifully, and I think at the moment he's playing so well, he's growing in confidence in everything he does," said Paine.
"He's our best player in 50-over cricket at the moment. Having played with him and against him in state cricket, he's clearly a really good captain, he's very good tactically."
With Australia facing South Africa in a home three-match ODI series following which India arrive on their shores for a full series, it will a true test of skills and leadership across all formats but Paine is confident of a good show.
"I think our best cricket in one-day cricket can really surprise people," Paine said. "Like myself, we're developing our leadership and trying to get better."
First Published: October 31, 2018, 11:41 AM IST