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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tim Paine and wicket-keeping


To start with, I do like test cricket as it requires a player to show patience, determination and it tests the skills of a player. Yesterday though, wasn't a great day for test cricket as it was devoid of a true contest. Pakistan's batsmen perhaps thought they were still playing street cricket and fell like a pack of cards to North's innocuous bowling to hand Australia an easy victory. Thankfully though, there was a wicketkeeper called Paine, who was able to raise above the mediocrity on show as he came up with a fine stumping of Butt. Yes, on the scoreboard it would be shown as a wicket for North, but the credit has to go to Paine for showing quick reflexes to send Butt back to the pavilion.

Now, let me frankly say that I don't know much about keeping as I have never been a keeper, but even I can say that in recent times, some of the keepers like Baugh, Akmal, Jones and now Kieswetter can't be called as wicket-keepers. All those players were selected as the selectors thought they can bat. Ironically, most of the above mentioned players failed as a batsman. Other keepers like Dhoni, Prior, McCullum and co. are just about average though, I feel that Dhoni and to an extent Prior have improved. I can only think of three keepers, who can be considered as good and they are, the veteran Boucher, P.Jayawerdena and our man Paine. Jaya only plays test matches and Paine is still the understudy to Haddin which leaves only Boucher, but he is coming to the end of his career and was recently dropped from the shorter formats of the game.

So, with so many mediocre keepers around, it was refreshing to see a fine piece of keeping by Paine. Actually, Paine has been impressive since he made his debut last year in England. He has good reflexes and I can't remember him giving away too many byes which is the hallmark of a good keeper. At present, Haddin is Australia's number one wicketkeeper as there is a perception that he is a better batsman though, Paine has already shown that he is no mug with the bat either. For instance, he did well in the second innings against Pakistan with Australia finding themselves in a spot of bother at 208 for 8.

Sometimes, I feel like disliking Gilly lol. Yes, he was no doubt a great player, but because of Gilly's success as a batsman, it has made other teams to look for keepers who can bat. In an attempt to find another Gilly, every tom, dick and harry is given a chance, but more often than not they end up as failures. I just hope that one-day selectors would realise finding another Gilly is a futile exercise and instead of dreaming about finding another Gilly, they would select good keepers like Paine!

9 comments:

half-tracker said...

I think Paine is great, and he eats Haddin for breakfast every day of the week for me. Haddin has his abilities but Little Timmy just looks so natural behind the stumps, and not half bad infront of them either.

Prasanna is so underrated. He is in my view the best test wicketkeeper in the world, Boucher aside obviously. I think if worked with then Mushfiqur has the talent to become perhaps not quite as good as Jayawardene but certainly better than many of the current test 'keepers.

Anonymous said...

That Sri Lankan keeper is a cracker. I don't think Tim is in his league but compared to most of them around, he's excellent.

Thanks for the write-up gb.

OR

Freehit said...

Hey Gb,

Well let me tell you first,that I am a wicketkeeper and I can tell you stumpings down the leg side are really tough.
With the batsmen moving and the ball going out of sight,you need to be really sharp to collect the ball clean and yes,Paine is very impressive.I think both Haddin and Paine are equally sharp behind the stumps.However,I feel Haddin is a better T20 batsmen than Paine since he is a rather technical player and hence best suited for the most demanding and ultimate version of the game as well as ODI,though he over time should be able to adapt to T20 as well.
So,Paine does help in bringing up the level of test cricket.
Great article!!

Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ said...

Oh man, what a great post. And good to see two people agree who have a clue of cricket, and can definitely be ruled out as "oh he is so cute inside his helmet" supporters :P
Thanks a ton for that.

BTW GB are you at cricketblips?

Cheers,
Wes

Germany beats the Vikings

greyblazer said...

HT,

The only thing that is saving Haddin is his batting. Pras is a superb keeper and Rahim? he should improve his concentration as he can be inconsistent.

greyblazer said...

OR,

Thanks. Yeah at present Pras is better than Paine though unfortunately not many seem to talk about him

greyblazer said...

Wes,

Thanks, you can notice that my blog and your blog seem to be neck- and- neck in the rankings at cricket blips lol.

greyblazer said...

FH,

Thanks for your post. I agree that Haddin at present is a better t/20 batsman mainly as he can gets those big hits away. So at least Paine can play test cricket.

half-tracker said...

Agrred gb Rahim needs better concentration, however thankfully that can be worked on and he has plenty of years to improve it! I'll always remember the catch he took to dismiss Tendulkar at the 2007 World Cup. It was a huge amount of luck but these sorts of things go the way of players that have something about them.