Tim Paine’s funny answer to the Barmy Army sled

Australian Test captain Tim Paine says he “absolutely loved” social media junk this week in the wake of his latest comments on this summer’s Ashes series.

Paine has made headlines on both sides of the world, following his remarks last week that the series would begin with or without England captain Joe Root, who until recently had refused to commit to traveling to Australia.

Paine was branded “irrelevant” by former English batter Rob Key, whose own mediocre career lasted only 15 matches, of which he averaged only 31.

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“Who was it?” Paine asked at SEN Hobart before answering his own question.

“It was Rob Key. Speaking of irrelevant.

“You know it’s busy when you are constantly updating how many times you’ve been mentioned (on social media).

“You can’t just flip through. I’ve been wearing the belt every day, 24 hours a day, and I’ve absolutely loved it.”

The Barmy Army came into the fight during the week as they tweeted a statistic comparing Root and Paine’s relative strike performance.

“If Joe Root scores 80 more runs than Tim Paine in the first 2 ash tests, his test runs in 2021 will be higher than Paine’s career test runs,” they wrote.

Paine has made 1534 test runs, while Root has made 1455 runs this year alone.

It’s a comparison that Paine thought was ridiculous.

“I want to say ‘apples and oranges,’ but it’s not even that,” Paine said.

“The Barmy Army watches a lot of cricket, you would think they would understand the game a little better than that.

“I have 1534 more races than Barmy Army”

Root, of course, hits number four for England, while Paine’s first role is as the team’s wicketkeeper.

“Joe Root – if he did not score more races than me, they would have a serious problem, right?” Paine asked.

“They trust him to win cricket games with bats, I’m a little piece in our jigsaw.

“The Barmy Army enjoys playing with me, but that’s fine.”

Travel restrictions are likely to prevent the Barmy Army from supporting England in their usual numbers this summer, a fact which the Australian captain said was disappointing.

“It’s actually a little sad to be honest, because it really adds to the mood, and they’ve great at what they do,” he said.

“Admittedly, they recycle a lot of chants from the English Premier League, I don’t think they have come up with too much original in the last 20 years.

“But they are excellent, brilliant to have on a cricket ground.”

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