Nathan Lyon Hails 'Incredible' Tim Paine, Backs Him to Continue as Australia Captain

However, Lyon says Paine is growing into the role.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: April 14, 2020, 1:28 PM IST
Nathan Lyon Hails 'Incredible' Tim Paine, Backs Him to Continue as Australia Captain

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says Tim Paine has been “absolutely incredible” since taking over as Test captain during turbulent times and expects the wicketkeeper to continue in the role for the foreseeable future.

Paine was handed the job in 2018 after then-captain Steve Smith was banned for 12 months for his part in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Australia lost a first home series to India but retained the Ashes last year under Paine, who has said he would back Smith’s return to the job after he served a further one-year ban from leadership roles.

However, Lyon says Paine is growing into the role.

“Tim Paine has been absolutely incredible for the Australian cricket team,” he told reporters in a video conference on Tuesday.

“The way he’s gone out and led this team, it’s been unbelievable to be honest ... I truly believe that he’s growing each and every day, he seems to be getting better as captain.”

The spinner said Paine took on the mantle in the most challenging of circumstances.

“If you looked around that change-room at that time, I think Tim Paine really got up in my eyes, really stood up and could take that challenge on,” he added.

“He took the captaincy on in the hardest time in Australian cricket and he’s done an amazing job.”

With Australia postponing their tour of Bangladesh in June in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lyon is looking forward to India’s return later this year, even if the matches have to be played behind closed doors.

“I’m excited about the prospect of India coming out to Australia, it’s up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes,” he said.

“Playing in front of crowds or no crowds is out of our control, we’ve got to follow the advice of all the amazing medical people around the world.”



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 3941 109
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 6047 275
2 England 5959 271
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 6009 261
5 South Africa 4380 258
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