Tim brings the Paine in Aussie net session
CRICKET: Much speculation has been made of the selection of Tim Paine as Australia's wicket keeper for the Ashes series.
But there is one person, with inside knowledge, who is backing Paine whole-heartedly.
Former Lower Clarence paceman Zak Honeybrook got a first hand glimpse of the work Paine is putting in the nets ahead of the first test at Brisbane, and the fiery quick was quite impressed.
Honeybrook got a once in a lifetime opportunity to bowl to the Australian Test team at the Gabba this week as part of the Queensland Under-19s set up.
And while he got the chance to bowl to captain Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Cameron Bancroft and Peter Handscomb - it was the work of Paine that had the quick on his toes.
"Painey was just in there cracking the ball everywhere around the net," Honeybrook said. "Bowling to Smithy was pretty good, but I reckon Paine was better.
"I just liked the way he was playing his shots, you could tell he was feeling it.
"He has a job to do to cement himself as the Aussie's long-term keeper, and you can tell he is working to that."
Paine was a shock inclusion for the Baggy Greens, having last scored a first class century more than a decade ago and not being the first choice gloveman for his State side.
But it appears the Tasmanian Tiger is taking this opportunity in both hands.
"I reckon he is the best keeper in Australia but he never got an opportunity to show it because of injury," Honeybrook said. "He will prove it this series."
The former Wanderers first grader also got a dream-come-true moment when he broke the castle of in-form Victorian Peter Handscomb.
But with all the attention on the Australian side, the young quick didn't quite get to send off the middle order batsman.
"I clean bowled him, it was just a good leg stump yorker and he threw the ball back and told me it was a "good nut"," he said.
"It was awesome to get him out, but with that much media and cameras around the cricket nets you didn't want to spray him.
"I wanted to tell him the sheds were the other way, get on your bike son, but I just thanked him and went back to my mark."