While Tim Paine has resigned as Australia’s Test captain, he remains available for selection for the start of the Ashes.
Nonetheless, having lost the armband and still building up his fitness after surgery on his neck in September, his place in the XI as Australia’s wicketkeeper appears under threat. We’ve taken a look at the names Australia could consider if they decide to replace Paine.
Inglis’ stock has risen considerably over the last year. An exceptional T20 player, Inglis excelled for Leicestershire in the T20 Blast which earned him a deal with the London Spirit in the Hundred and also a call-up to the Australia squad for the recently concluded World Cup. That form also built on a strong 2020/21 Sheffield Shield season where he averaged 73.12 and scored three centuries in 12 innings. Part of the Australia A squad that will play against England Lions next month, Inglis is certainly a serious candidate for the role if Paine’s spot comes under question.
Also in the A squad, the South Australia gloveman has been a regular in limited-overs cricket for Australia, having played 83 white-ball internationals since 2018. He’s also captained Australia in three ODIs and while he hasn’t lit up the Sheffield Shield so far this season – 148 runs have come at 29.60 – his two previous seasons have seen him average 55.14 and 59.80. Carey was also Paine’s understudy on the cancelled Test tour of South Africa earlier in 2021.
Almost exactly a year ago, Wade told The Cricketer: “I do not think I would be playing cricket still if I was still in that grind of trying to play international cricket as a keeper-batsman.” Nonetheless, while Wade hasn’t kept in first-class cricket since August 2019, he played the role of gloveman in Australia’s T20 World Cup triumph and carries a decade’s worth of of international experience.
The Queensland wicketkeeper has started this Sheffield Shield campaign with two centuries from his first four matches to back-up a very productive 2020/21 season where he averaged 44.66. Speaking in October, his Queensland captain Usman Khawaja offered up plenty of praise: “The way he’s batting right now is as good as anyone in Shield cricket, honestly…. It will be very interesting to see what happens [with the position of Test keeper]. I’m just really glad he’s putting his hand up because all the hard work he does, he deserves it.”
A player who AB de Villiers described as someone who he saw a lot of himself in when the Australia wicketkeeper signed for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Philippe’s reputation is mainly based in white-ball cricket, however he has started the recent Sheffield Shield campaign in exceptional form scoring 373 runs at an average of 62.16. His century against Queensland was only his second in first-class cricket, although as a player who is regarded as one of the top batting prospects in Australia he is only a strong run of form away from accelerating up the pecking order.