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Score Big in Domestic Cricket And Earn a Baggy Green, Says Captain Tim Paine

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 29, 2018, 4:18 PM IST
Score Big in Domestic Cricket And Earn a Baggy Green, Says Captain Tim Paine

Australia skipper Tim Paine. (Reuters)

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Australia Test captain Tim Paine said any player who will score big runs in the next two or three rounds of the ongoing Sheffield Shield - Australia's domestic first-class cricket competition - can find themselves in the mix for the home Test series against India in December-January.

"What's clear is the next two or three rounds of Shield cricket are super important for everyone – both the guys who were on the Test tour (in the UAE) and guys who were here playing Shield cricket," Paine told cricket.com.au. "If you can make a case by scoring a lot of runs, a Baggy Green is seriously within reach.

"Marcus Harris scored a big double hundred (against New South Wales); that's the kind of thing that will certainly get the attention of Justin Langer and Trevor Hohns.

"Anyone who's scoring double hundreds at the top of the order in Shield cricket is going to be right amongst it. He's one of a few guys who's certainly put his hand up in the opening few rounds."

Apart from injured Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch, every other Australian batsman found it tough to get going in the two-match Test series against Pakistan in UAE. Test incumbents Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, who made their debuts in the series, failed to emphatically further their cases to retain their Australian spots.

Paine himself played a terrific knock in the first Test to help Australia salvage a draw, but then only managed scores of 3 and 0 in the second as Australia lost the series 1-0. The Tasmanian will make his return to the Sheffield Shield next week and it can turn out to be a blessing in disguise for out-of-favour Matthew Wade.

Paine's state teammate Wade has been in astonishing form this year, averaging 74 from eight Shield matches, including four consecutive fifties to start the season. Paine's return means Wade will play as a specialist batsman in Tasmania's match against New South Wales and will get to bat up the order to push his case for a Test spot even further.

"He's one of the most in-form batters in the country at the moment so it might be an opportunity for him to bat a bit higher (against NSW) and get a big score," said Paine, who grew up with Wade in Hobart.

"I didn't see a lot of him last year, but I was home for the pre-season and watched him bat in the nets. It's as well as I've seen him bat and obviously over his career he's batted really well. He's in fantastic form at the moment and if that continues for another month or so, who knows?

"We've been pretty clear that if you're scoring enough runs, anyone's a chance at the moment."

India will commence their Australian sojourn with a three-match Twenty20 International series before the focus shifts to the four-match Test series. India are then scheduled to play three One Day Internationals in January.
First Published: October 29, 2018, 4:18 PM IST
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