Australia Test skipper, Tim Paine got immensely embarrassed when he fumbled an easy run-out chance, which gave New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling an early life on Day 3 of the first Test in Perth. As Watling took off for a second run, he was left stranded in the middle of the pitch when Ross Taylor decided not to take the second run as Nathan Lyon collected the ball.
Watling was nowhere in the frame when Lyon threw it towards the wicket-keeper’s end and would have been on his way to the pavilion, but as the ball bounced just in front of Tim Paine, he was not able to gather it and it popped out of his gloves and Watling made it home safely.
Here is the video of Tim Paine’s fumble:
An early chance goes by!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 14, 2019
However, the fumble did not cost Australia much as Pat Cummins castled Watling a few overs later, leaving New Zealand reeling at 120/6 after 37.3 overs in response to Australia’s 416. But that did not stop Twitterati from slamming Tim Paine for the missed opportunity.
“Can’t wait for Alex Carey to replace him when Smith’s captaincy ban ends! This could be costly!” one user tweeted. “I think it’s time that Paine goes. He’s just becoming more and more useless as each test passes. I’ve heard many people call for him to be removed, and now l agree,” added another frustrated user. “I don’t know how anyone defends Paine, worst in the world at reviews, average captain, poor batsman and misses chances like these often,” another user tweeted.
“If Paine was such a ‘nice guy’, wouldn’t he think it’s time to step aside for the next keeper for Australia?” a user enquired. One fan even invoked Nathan Lyon’s fumble in the third Ashes Test that would have won the match for Australia and prevented Ben Stokes’ heroics as he tweeted “Doing his best Nathan Lyon impression”.
Paine became the skipper of the Australian team after Steve Smith and David Warner were banned following their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal during their tour of South Africa in 2018. While he has a good record as captain and has gained notoriety for his witty sledding, Paine has come under criticism for a number of poor DRS calls and his indifferent form with the bat.