Wicketkeeper race is wide open

ONE of the men in the primary position to be Australia's next wicketkeeper believes the race is wide open to replace Brad Haddin.

Tasmania's Tim Paine is seemingly at the front of the queue having donned the gloves for Australia A against England, with fellow Tasmanian-born Matthew Wade dumped from the international side during the winter.

However, Paine does not believe there is a clear-cut replacement for 36-year-old Haddin.

As well as Paine, who has completed 17 dismissals in the one-day competition and Shield, and Wade (21), South Australia's Tim Ludeman (25), New South Wales's Peter Nevill (20) and Queensland's Chris Hartley (21) are also having good summers with the gloves.

``It is very open at the moment and there's no-one that can lay claim to being Test, one-day or Twenty20 no. 2, it will just be a matter of who is in form at the right time,'' he told The Examiner .

``You don't have to be Einstein to realise that (a change of wicketkeeper) is going to happen in the next 12, 18, 24 months, so it's a really good opportunity for every wicketkeeper in Australia at the moment.

``If you can put your hand up and show that, 1, you're a good wicketkeeper, 2, you're a good team person and, 3, that you can score runs under pressure in tough situations, you're likely to get an opportunity, there's no doubt about that.''

Paine, who has played four Tests, 26 one-day internationals and five T20 internationals, believed he has what it takes to succeed if the opportunity were to come his way.

``I've always been confident in my own wicketkeeping ability when up against the other guys, but it's just about turning these 60s and 70s that I've been getting into 120 and 140 and opportunities will start to come my way,'' the 28-year-old said.

The stand-in Tasmanian captain's last crack at a national spot was disrupted due to a severely broken finger in 2010.

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