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Ashes 2019: Australia's Paine Will Not Give Up Captaincy Meekly

One of the perks of being an Ashes-winning captain is having friends in high places, and Paine said he now had a direct line to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Reuters |September 11, 2019, 3:12 PM IST
Australian captain Tim Paine. (Pic: AFP)

Australia retained the Ashes with victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, where Smith continued his brilliant series with a double-century and a second innings 82.

Smith is banned from leadership roles until March because of his involvement in a Cape Town ball-tampering scandal last year but he is tipped by some former players and leading cricket writers to regain the captaincy from wicketkeeper Paine after his batting heroics in England.

However, Australia's first Ashes retention on English soil since 2001 was a triumph for Paine, who was credited for helping guide the side out of the dark days that followed the ball-tampering scandal.

He said he would continue to lead Australia so long as he was enjoying the job and selectors were happy with his work.

"I'm enjoying what I'm doing and whilst I can continue to contribute in some way I'll continue to do it," he told Australian media.

"I constantly talk to (coach) Justin Langer and (selector) Trevor Hohns about what might happen or how long I might go for, but I think we're all comfortable and we're all on the same page so it's all good."

The 34-year-old suffered a string of finger injuries that interrupted his Test career for seven years and has limited him to 25 Tests to date.

"I did miss a lot in, I suppose, the prime years of my cricket career," Paine said.

"The positive of that now is that physically I'm in really good condition for my age, and I feel really good after Test matches physically.

"Mentally, it's a different story but it only takes a day to recover from that. While I keep enjoying it, I'll keep doing it."

One of the perks of being an Ashes-winning captain is having friends in high places, and Paine said he now had a direct line to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"I'm going to save it and I might ring him if we win this one," Paine joked ahead of the fifth and final Test at The Oval.

"He was pretty pumped. (His message was) along the same lines of messages we got from a lot of people back home in Australia - congratulations, everyone's proud of us, Steve Smith's a freak and make sure you finish it off this week."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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