Australian wicketkeeping’s elder statesman Rod Marsh believes young
gloveman Tim Paine has edged ahead of his older rival Brad Haddin.

remaining an admirer of Haddin and his capacity for destructive batting
bursts, Marsh reckons 25-year-old Paine has done so well in his Test
and limited overs appearances this year that the question of who gets
the Ashes is not straightforward.

“Tim is a more correct or
traditional type player, whereas Brad with the bat can be as explosive
as anyone I’ve ever seen, he’s a magnificent striker of the ball and I
think anyone would like to have Brad in the team,” Marsh told an ICC

“However, Tim has done so well it is going to be hard for Brad to get back in.

not such a bad thing for Australian cricket if you’ve got two guys
playing exceptionally well and challenging each other.”

echoed Paine’s own feelings that he has developed a great deal in his
time behind the stumps at Test level in England and India this year, the
widest possible contrast in terms of technical and physical demands.

think Tim obviously playing in Test matches now and also a few one
dayers, his ‘keeping will come on in leaps and bounds,” said Marsh.

“It happens that the more you’re picked the better you become.”

of selectors Andrew Hilditch has so far been firm in stating that
Haddin will slip back into the Australian side the moment he is deemed
to have fully recovered from a long-term elbow problem.

richly deserved his opportunity when Adam gave it away. He’s done
really, really well for us so he’s still our No.1 keeper/batter,”
Hilditch said after the Mohali Test.

“Tim’s challenge, just like Brad’s was, is to make sure he’s putting on as much pressure as he possibly can.

“He’s a very impressive young man and we’re really pleased with how he’s going, a very talented player.

“So he’s putting pressure on but if Brad’s fit, that’s the way we’ll go.”

the addition of the lateral thinking Greg Chappell to the selection
panel – he famously plucked Ian Healy from the obscurity of second
choice for Queensland to turn him into the man who broke Marsh’s record
for dismissals – may help Paine’s case.