Paine reveals his captaincy was on the line in leadership vote

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Wicketkeeper Tim Paine has revealed that he could have lost the Australia captaincy in the recent voting process to select the leadership group of the Test team.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and allrounder Mitchell Marsh were voted in as joint vice-captains ahead of the team’s two-match series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Paine stressed the importance of the process, which saw him and his vice-captains put forward for their positions by their team-mates.

Australia’s top players held an initial ballot to identify leaders within the extended group, with the top six vote winners presenting to a final panel.

“I came across the captaincy in not ideal circumstances so to go back into the pool and to be voted back up by my peers was great,” Paine told cricket.com.au.

“It means a lot to all three of us that we’ve been voted in by our peers. It was really important to have the player buy-in.

“Everyone went through that process, myself included. I think it was good for the players to be able to voice their opinion and have a say in who leads them.

ALSO READ: Australia appoint a pair of deputies for Paine

Josh Hazlewood was selected as a joint vice-captain

“It was also great for the guys who had been nominated by the players to go through the process and be interviewed. It’s something that we don’t normally do and it was a good experience.”

When asked if he would have considered vacating the captaincy if he hadn’t won the vote, Paine responded by saying: “Yeah I’d imagine so. It probably wouldn’t have been my call. We took it very seriously and the players had their say, then there was a process after that as well.

“It was not done to tick boxes or anything like that. It was to make sure we had the right people leading this team going forward.”

Paine expressed faith in the appointments of Marsh and Hazlewood. The pair are “trusted, respected” members of the Test group according to the skipper.

Australian XI for tour match v Pakistan A:

Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh (vc), Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc

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