Paine backing Faulkner option

HAVING recently been introduced to Adelaide Oval's new drop-in wicket, Tasmanian wicketkeeper Tim Paine can see the logic in the multi-optioned James Faulkner replacing Tigers' skipper George Bailey for the second Ashes Test starting tomorrow.

Australian selectors are toying with the idea of playing the 23-year-old former Launceston all-rounder at No. 7, with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin moving to No. 6, which would squeeze out Bailey, who made his debut at the Gabba.

Tasmania and South Australia played out a high-drawing score in Adelaide recently, which saw 1286 runs scored and 32 wickets fall over its four days.

``It's hard to say as I don't know how their attack is feeling, and I don't know how Mitchell Johnson is travelling or what is going on with Ryan Harris's body or with Peter Siddle, but (that wicket) was certainly hard work for the faster bowlers,'' Paine said yesterday.

``So if you can find a way to fit James in there, which would lessen the load on those three quicks going into the next Test, I think it is worth a try.

``Obviously Brad Haddin batted very well in Brisbane, so if they decide that's the way it is going and he moves up to six, I think that might be the better way to go on this wicket.

``I'm not sure what the curator would do with that pitch, but if it was like the one we played on, you would back your top four or five batsmen to get all of your runs and then have  contributions from your wicketkeeper and all-rounders.''  Paine said it wouldn't be ``harsh'' for Bailey to be demoted, more unlucky.

``He would be unlucky, as it wouldn't be something that would be spoken about if this Test was in Perth or Melbourne, it's just an unknown wicket with the drop-in in Adelaide and teams just trying to figure out the best way to win the Test and have your attack fit for the whole series,'' he said.

``One change at six won't unsettle the batting line-up.

``Either way it would be nice to see George or James in the team, and at some stage hopefully both.''

Bailey could end up playing if skipper Michael Clarke's ankle problem keeps him out, although Cricket Australia has declared he will be right to play.

Fellow all-rounder Shane Watson has said is keen to extend his bowling workload in this Test, which could be another factor in Faulkner's potential selection.

Faulkner claimed 6-98 and scored 45 on his Test debut in the fifth Ashes Test during the winter at The Oval, while Bailey made 3 and 34 in his first outing as a Test player at the Gabba.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop