Legendary wicketkeeper Ian Healy wants incumbent skipper Tim Paine to lead Australia for at least three more years, which will see him finish as one of the longest-serving Test captains.
The 36-year-old Paine, who was named captain after former skipper Steve Smith was handed a one-year ban for his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, has seen his team record some memorable wins, the highlight being last-year’s Ashes which Australia retained after 18 years in England.
“I’m expecting him to play for quite long because he started so late - and it looks like he’s in great shape physically and doing it well,” Healy told The Age.
“He’s got a job to do so that will keep him interested, keep him motivated to get that Australian side on top again and in the hearts of Australians.”
In the form of an unbeaten half-century and seven catches behind the stumps, Paine made handsome contribution in the series-opening day-night Test against India at Adelaide Oval last week.
Paine, who has played 32 Tests and averages 33.40, scored an unbeaten 73 in the first innings besides grabbing those catches to be awarded the Man of the Match in Adelaide, which Australia won by eight wickets.
“He’s led a massive cultural revolution, which has got to be draining, so I don’t have a problem if he does surprise me and finish before I reckon he will because he’s taken on so much. But I think he’s about to reap the rewards and enjoy it a lot more. I’ve got no problems saying three more years,” Healy said.
Paine will lead Australia next in the second Test against India starting December 26 in Melbourne.
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