Australia captain Tim Paine looks on. (Getty Images)
Australia captain Tim Paine looks on. (Getty Images)

‘He stood up, took on the Indian players’: Brett Lee backs under-fire Australia captain Tim Paine

  • India vs Australia: Amid the plethora of people who want the 36-year-old out, Tim Paine has received the backing of Brett Lee
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:10 PM IST

Following India's historic 2-1 triumph in the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia captain Tim Paine has come under a lot of criticism for his leadership and his form as a wicketkeeper. Paine became the first Australia captain to lose back-to-back Test series in Australia against the same team, and sections of Australian media have been clamouring for his sacking as captain of the Test team.

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The knives were out for Paine, with former spinner Shane Warne questioning Paine's tactics, whereas the legendary Sunil Gavaskar expressed his reservations about Paine continuing as Australia's Test captain. However, amid the plethora of people who want the 36-year-old out, Paine has received the backing of an Australia legend. Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee feels there isn't anything atrocious about Paine's captaincy and although he has been slightly turbulent as a wicketkeeper, such lapses can happen to anyone.

"I think since he's taken over the captaincy, he's shown real good leadership qualities. And look, there's been a lot written about Tim Paine behind the stumps. He's grassed a few chances, but who hasn't? You look at all the keepers in history and I'm sure there would be plenty who had leaner periods behind the stumps. With the bat, you can't fault him. He goes along with Marnus Labuschagne as having one of the best techniques in the team. He stood up and took on the Indian players," Lee told

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As a batsman, Paine hit a couple of half-centuries, but keeping wise, he left a bit to be desired. Paine dropped three catches in the famous Sydney Test which India held on to, to escape with a draw. But despite the flaws, Lee has backed Paine to the hilt, saying he kept India on the edge with his captaincy and that such a trait is not common.

"His captaincy has been really good. As I said, in Sydney there were maybe a few other things he could have tried, but put yourself in that situation — he's under the pump, he's had a few players go down as well, there's chances (gone begging) when they're trying to take those last five wickets," he said.

"(He's a) brilliant keeper, his batting has been outstanding, and his captaincy really sound."

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