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Shane Warne: Josh Inglis should replace Tim Paine as Australia’s wicketkeeper for the Ashes

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Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne has called for Western Australia’s Josh Inglis to replace Tim Paine as wicketkeeper in the Australia Test team.

Paine resigned as Test captain on Friday after details emerged that he had been investigated and cleared of sending sexually explicit text messages to a colleague in 2017, but has said he hopes to keep his place in the side.

As vice captain, Pat Cummins is widely expected to be announced as Australia’s next captain and Shane Warne said that the new leader should take the opportunity to bring in a new wicketkeeper and replace Tim Paine in the side.

“Pat Cummins should now be named captain, and either Matt Wade, Josh Inglis or Alex Carey should get their chance to come in and play Paine’s role in the Test team.” Warne wrote in Australia’s The Daily Telegraph on Sunday.

“Inglis gets my vote. He’s got silky smooth hands behind the stumps, he’s a 360 degree player with the bat and coming off three first class hundreds last season for Western Australia. He’s a great team man who I saw first hand at the London Spirit this year. He’s 26. Get him in.”

Inglis, who was born in Leeds before relocating to Australia as a teenager, averages 34.03 from 45 first-class games and enjoyed a bumper 2020/21 season, averaging 73.12 along with making his only three first-class tons. While he is yet to make his international debut, Inglis is a highly rated T20 player, and was a non-playing member of Australia’s victorious T20 World Cup squad.

Warne also urged Australia fans not to criticise Paine too harshly despite the sexting scandal that led to the wicketkeeper captain resigning from his role.

“It was sad to see what happened last Friday on so many levels and the circumstances in which Tim was forced to stand down. I really feel for him, what he’s going through, and what his family is going through,” Warne added.

“I’m not judging him on this incident. Just because Tim is in the public eye doesn’t mean he won’t make a mistake. Sportspersons are human, they have feelings. Let’s stop the judgement. It’s not our place to do that.”

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