He’s still in search of a maiden Test century but Tim Paine has taken a big step towards banishing his Sydney demons with another gutsy batting display for Australia.
Paine second’s half-century of the series against India at the Gabba on Saturday came less than a week after his leadership was questioned in the wake of the drawn third Test at the SCG.
The 36-year-old may have been dismissed shortly after reaching his 50 but his innings was vital in lifting Australia’s first innings total at the Gabba past 350.
In partnership with youngster Cameron Green, Paine added 98 for the sixth-wicket for Australia before the home team was eventually dismissed for 369.
Paine came into the Brisbane game under a cloud after a fifth day display at the SCG where he later admitted he’d let the pressure of the match affect his leadership and wicketkeeping.
India legend Sunil Gavaskar declared Paine’s antics were unfitting of a leader and that his “days as captain were numbered”.
Stump microphones picked up a verbal stoush with Ravichandran Ashwin shortly before Paine dropped the India veteran as the tourists dragged themselves to an unlikely draw.
Paine’s Gabba knock came just days after he fronted the media to apologise for his behaviour and earned the respect of former Test captain Ian Chappell.
“There was a determination about his batting, and I thought he played pretty well in this innings here,” Chappell told ABC Radio.
“He’s done a very good job as captain in difficult circumstances.”