Ashes: After eight pins and metal plate in finger, Tim Paine makes shocking return

Updated: Nov 23, 2017, 09:20 IST | AFP

Eight pins and a metal plate in his right index finger bear testament to the once-stalled cricket career of wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who makes a surprise return today after his shock selection for the Ashes

Eight pins and a metal plate in his right index finger bear testament to the once-stalled cricket career of wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who makes a surprise return today after his shock selection for the Ashes. The Tasmanian's recall to the Australian Test team for the first time in seven years for the opener with England was greeted with widespread disbelief. It's been 78 Tests since Paine last wore the baggy green Australia cap, after a gruesome finger injury almost ended the 32-year-old gloveman's career.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine

Paine was once hailed as Australia's next big thing, a rising wicketkeeper-batsman who had the potential to captain his country. But he smashed his finger while batting in an exhibition match in 2010. It caused him to lose his spot in the Test side and, following a series of complications, he never won it back - until now. Former Test captain Allan Border said: "It seems bizarre to me. That's a real risky selection from the panel. All the 'keepers around the country will be scratching their head saying. 'what the hell is going on?'" Yet Paine has taken all the criticism in his stride, and hopes he can now seize his chance to realise his potential after his ghastly finger injury. "The opportunity has come at a really good time for me," Paine said.

"The past five or six months I've really started to bat well again and I'll go into this Test with some confidence. I've had some success in the few Tests I have played, so I'll take some confidence from that," Paine said.

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