Home » Legend’s blunt message for under-fire Paine

Legend’s blunt message for under-fire Paine

Former captain Ian Chappell says Tim Paine remains the only viable option to lead Australia in the short-term, as the fall-out from the series loss to India continues.

The 36-year-old’s future is increasingly unclear, although he has confirmed he intends to lead the team to South Africa next month, assuming that tour is able to proceed.

But he stopped short of committing to the Ashes defence next summer, noting that at his age he doesn’t look beyond the next series.

Tim Paine during the fourth Test. (Getty)

Australia made a change at the start of the summer, appointing Pat Cummins as the sole vice-captain after he’d previously shared the role with Travis Head. Head was dropped from the side after the second Test.

Chappell, who captained Australia from 1971-1975, urged Paine to put his own stamp on the position.

“I can’t see any other options at the moment, which is part of Australia’s problem, and then someone has to convince Tim that he has to take charge, and not just in name only,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

“To me this a problem, not just with Australia, but with all countries.

“There’s so much bulls–t that goes on with tactics and planning and meetings. I don’t have a major problem with the meetings, but it shouldn’t last too long; but my problem is that the plan is the bloody plan, and they don’t deviate from it.

“Captaincy doesn’t work like that.”

Nathan Lyon, Tim Paine and Pat Cummin during the final day of the fourth Test. (Getty)

Chappell pointed out that the best captains were able to change tack in response to how events were unfolding, an approach that was missing in Brisbane.

“I’d go out on the field with a plan of how to get Viv Richards out, but if Viv Richards is knocking balls from off-stump over mid-wicket, well, we better come up with something else,” he explained.

“Your plans have got to adapt, if it’s not working, the good captains change it at the right time, they don’t leave it too long.

“The plan to bowl short on day five was stupid, weren’t they watching the bloody game? Weren’t they watching when India bowled? The balls that were leaping off the cracks weren’t short.

“That was just total stupidity.”

Pat Cummins is Australia’s Test vice-captain. (Getty)

If Paine was to vacate the captaincy, voluntarily or otherwise, Cummins remains the most likely successor.

But the fast-bowler sent down a mammoth 51 overs during the Brisbane Test and suggestions Paine is overworked would also apply to Cummins.

“It’s an indication of how light we are for candidates. I’ve got the greatest admiration for Pat, not just the way he bowls, but the way he plays the game,” Chappell explained.

“But I’d be very wary of loading him up with any more responsibility. But where the hell else do you go?

“I know where I’d be going, but he’s been banned for life (David Warner).

“I think they were hoping Head would be a candidate but in my view, he’s going to struggle to hold his place in the side on a permanent basis.”

Chappell yesterday hit out at Australia’s tactics in the post-lunch session, where Cummins and Mitchell Starc delivered a bouncer-barrage to the Indian batsman.

He called the plan “absolute rubbish” and noted it hurt Australia in the long run.

“Cummins kept going, his heart must be huge because he had to be stuffed late in the day. But Starc was shot to pieces and that was the problem with the plan,” he said.

Ian Chappell says the Australian bowling tactics left Mitchell Starc a “shot duck” on day five. (Getty)

“If it comes down to the last 15 overs and you need three or four wickets and you’ve just got the second new ball, we all know how dangerous Starc can be. But he was a shot duck because he’d spent all that time banging the ball in halfway down.

“I’ve never been a quick bowler but I’ve spoken to enough to know it’s energy sapping, particularly if you do it for any length of time.”

Former captain Mark Taylor questioned Paine’s ability to manufacture a wicket when his frontline bowlers struggle to make the breakthrough, pointing out that Cameron Green only bowled three overs, and Marnus Labuschagne one, during the final day.

Chappell was also baffled by the absence of the part-time leg-spinner from the bowling crease.

Marnus Labuschagne only bowled one over on the final day. (Getty)

“I didn’t understand Marnus bowling only one over,” he said.

“I thought he should have come into the attack earlier, and not just for one over. That was the weird thing, he bowled to the right-hander, (Cheteshwar) Pujara, who should have hit 20 off that over, which would have changed the game drastically. But the left-hander, (Rishabh) Pant, would have been on-strike for the next over and Marnus was taken off.

“I found that weird. There’s too many theories. They say they want the ball spinning away from the left-hander, so they go with (Nathan) Lyon. But he bowled wide of off-stump to Pant, and he was just letting them go.

“If Marnus bowls to the left-hander, he’s spinning the ball back into him, and one might hit a crack and keep low, or jump out of the footmarks. Having given him one over, you had to give him two, especially with the left-hander on strike.”

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