Australia vs India 2018/19, Sheffield Shield, Aaron Finch, Victoria vs Australia


Before Tim Paine was selected to play in the first Ashes Test last November, he had not kept for Tasmania in a Shield game all season.

Parachuted into the XI for the Gabba Test, the right-hander had an excellent summer, averaging 48 with the bat and notching 26 dismissals. Only two men (Rod Marsh 1982/83 and Brad Haddin 2013/14) had amassed more dismissals in a five-match Ashes series than Paine did in Australia’s 4-0 victory.

In this instance, the ends clearly justified the means. Although his state form had been almost non-existent — aside from a duck and an unbeaten 71 at the MCG — the selection was a punt that paid off handsomely.

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The national incumbent, Matthew Wade, was short of runs at Shield level and the Aussie selectors elected to trust Paine’s glovework over his state teammate. But his selection also underlined a clear disconnect between Cricket Australia (CA) and the state associations that was explicitly laid out in Dr Simon Longstaff’s cultural review 11 months later.

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