TIM Paine will miss out on a head-to-head battle with Brad Haddin, but he is determined not to miss the chance to reclaim his place in the pecking order of Australia's wicketkeepers.
Haddin will be resting when Paine captains Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at Bellerive from today.
Paine had been mooted as the replacement for Matthew Wade when Australia's No. 1 gloveman was rested during the one-day series against Sri Lanka.
Selectors instead went for 35-year-old former Test star Haddin, who had been dropped for Wade.
The Tigers keeper, who had previously backed up Haddin in the Australian side, was considered the New South Welshman's heir apparent before a finger injury wrecked two seasons.
Haddin's 2012-13 Shield average of 57.83 dwarfs Paine's 15.83 and the Blues gloveman is now being tipped to remain Wade's back-up for the Ashes series in the UK beginning in July.
The stakes are high with four Shield games remaining for both Tasmania and NSW, but Paine said he would be focused on the task at hand.
``I've got a head-to-head with [Haddin's replacement] Peter Nevill who's probably not as good a player as Brad but I suppose in years down the track he may well be,'' Paine said yesterday.
``It's a big game for both of us with a few things coming up around the corner.''
Paine looked to have struck form at the right time with an unbeaten 74 on New Year's Day for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
It came after the 28-year-old had made an unbeaten 60 for Australia A against the touring South Africans in November.
He said seeing off returning Blues seamer Josh Hazlewood and former Test left-armer Doug Bollinger would be the key to his and Tasmania's chances at Bellerive.
``It will be about blunting those two and bringing them back for long spells and making them bowl for one or two days at a time,'' Paine said.
Both sides will be depleted by national duty but balancing Hazlewood's comeback from a foot injury will be Test swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus's return for the Tigers.
Hilfenhaus broke down during the first Test against Sri Lanka at the same venue in December but has been bowling in club cricket.
Aiden Blizzard has been omitted while Ricky Ponting returns along with Jason Krejza, Adam Maher and Tigers recruit Andrew Fekete who didn't get his chance to debut for Tasmania in the Ryobi Cup due to a washed-out fixture in Brisbane in January.
The match will also be the last for assistant coach Michael Di Venuto who will depart to join the Australian team next week as the new batting coach, with Dan Marsh his replacement for the season.
The match starts today at 11am, the time approved by Cricket Australia for the remainder of the season in relation to daylight savings.
Tasmania: Tim Paine (capt), Luke Butterworth, Mark Cosgrove, Alex Doolan, Ben Dunk, Andrew Fekete, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Krejza, Adam Maher, Ricky Ponting, Jon Wells (12th man TBA).
NSW: Ben Rohrer (capt), Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Doug Bollinger, Tim Cruickshank, David Dawson, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Henry, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Chris Tremain, Adam Zampa (12th man TBA).