Tim Paine has been through more than most in his cricketing career to-date but after claiming the final catch in Australia’s Ashes triumph in Perth on Monday, there’s no doubting that he’ll tell you that it’s all been worth it.
Once flirting with retirement after compounding finger injuries which resulted in him having to graft out part of his hip bone and insert into his finger, the Tasmanian product is now an Ashes winner and one that has contributed heavily on both roles that he commands.
16 dismissals and 130 runs at an average of 43 has seen the spotlight taken off the wicket-keeping role for the first time in a long time, particularly after scores of 57 and 49* in Adelaide and Perth, allowing to build key partnerships with the tail, a trait that has been a key point of the series thus far.
Steve Smith had nothing but praise for his gloveman following Australia’s heroics in Perth.
“Painey has been mentioned as probably the best keeper in the country for a long period of time, and the way he’s kept has been exceptional,” Smith said.
“And the way he’s batted has been exceptional as well, we’ve had some very valuable runs from him at number seven.”
“I think his glove work has been first-class. He’s tidied a lot of stuff up and as we know with keepers, if they go unnoticed they’re doing their job.
“What he did today with that one-handed catch is just reward for what he’s done throughout this series.
“He’s keeping well but the character he’s brought to our change rooms – he can shut those fast bowlers up pretty quickly when they get annoying! He’s been a really good asset to the team.”