Tim Paine reveals his approach to Test cricket captaincy

Top jobs: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison greets Test captain Tim Paine earlier this year. Picture: AAP
Top jobs: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison greets Test captain Tim Paine earlier this year. Picture: AAP

He may have arrived at the position in unorthodox and controversial circumstances, but Tim Paine now thinks he is "the luckiest man in Australia".

The 34-year-old Tasmanian is about to lead his country into an Ashes series hoping to banish the stain of the drama that led to his appointment and provide a fitting climax to his roller-coaster injury-plagued career.

In a frank interview on the Cricket Australia website, Paine opened up about the aftermath of the Cape Town sandpaper controversy and the circumstances around his ascension to become the 46th Australian Test captain after just 12 matches.

"I wasn't keen on it, but I didn't say that," Paine said. "I just thought at the time that I had to do it.

"It was a strange circumstance to have it in, and it wasn't really a time for celebrating.

"We knew that it was going to be hard work and a big job, and it was during that period I came to accept that I can only do what I can do, and I've tried to keep things really simple ever since.

"I knew I just had to be myself, be as honest as I could and answer all the questions, and just try and be a normal person who also happens to be the Australian Test captain."

Paine said winning back the trust and faith of cricket fans around the world was a key priority.

He called for simplified rules on "ball maintenance" and revealed the more diplomatic approach he now takes to captaincy compared to his early days leading Tasmania.

After 14 years of top-level cricket, the father of two young children (daughter Milla, aged two and son Charlie, almost one) whose career was truncated by lengthy finger injuries is philosophical about a second bite at Test level.

"I was young and a bit brash when I first came in, and I didn't really take in what I was doing and how important it was and how lucky I was.

"Then to have it taken away and struggle even at state level, and to come out the other side of that and get it back, I'm just so grateful every day in this role as captain.

"I'm the luckiest man in Australia as far as I'm concerned, and sometimes you've just got to admit that."