Paine reveals Australia’s secret Ashes injury toll
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Australia captain Tim Paine
Australia captain Tim Paine

AUSTRALIA captain Tim Paine has revealed he broke his thumb during the fifth Ashes Test, while he has praised paceman Peter Siddle for bowling through the pain of a hip injury for most of the match.

The Test skipper has also revealed he won’t be available to play in the KFC BBL this summer as he looks to focus on playing red-ball cricket.

England won the fifth Test at The Oval this week to level the five-match series at 2-2, although Australia retained the Ashes urn as the holders of the famous old trophy.

To add to the disappointment of losing the match in south London, Paine had to play through the pain of a busted thumb.

“My thumb was broken towards the end of that Test but it is not displaced, so I should be right to get back into training early,” Paine wrote in his column for The Australian.

It is not known exactly when or how Paine suffered the injury or whether it’s his right or left thumb.

The Test skipper was not selected for Tasmania’s opening two Marsh Cup games next week as the majority of Australia’s Ashes squad were given a well-earned break, but he’s expected to feature for the Tigers in the lead-up to Australia’s first Test of the home summer, against Pakistan in November.

Paine famously required seven separate operations on his right index finger after it was broken during an exhibition match in 2010, almost ending his career prematurely.

He also suffered a hairline fracture in his right thumb during the Johannesburg Test last year, his first as captain

In his column, Paine also touched on the hip injury suffered by Siddle on the opening day of the Test, which the Victorian hinted at during the match.

“Peter Siddle tore a hip flexor bowling on the first morning,” Paine wrote.

“He has copped a bit of criticism for not bowling as well as he we know he can, but the team knows just how heroic he was. A lot of other people wouldn’t have bowled again in the match, but he pushed on because he didn’t want to leave Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to do extra work. He’s a warrior, Sidds, and we love him deeply for that.”

Siddle was picked ahead of Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson for the Oval Test and was uncharacteristically expensive on the opening day, conceding 0-61 from 17 overs in the first innings.

He also leaked four-runs-an-over in the second innings, although he did pick up the key wickets of Joe Denly for 94 and Jos Buttler for 47.

“I hurt my hip early on day one, so it’s been a bit of a graft in the last couple of days,” Siddle told the BBC after day three.

“It’s been hard work, but it’s a Test match, you do what you can do and you stay out there.”

It is understood Siddle’s injury, like Paine’s, is not overly serious and he’s expected to be available to play for Victoria next month.

Paine said while playing Big Bash cricket for the Hobart Hurricanes is not on his radar for this season, he’s keen to return to the 20-over game once his Test career is over.

“I’m keen to see just how far we can take this (Test) team and I’ve decided to give up the BBL so I can concentrate on red ball cricket and being in the best place to lead them,” he wrote.

“Being captain is draining and I think I should take every chance to recharge my batteries.

“I’ll go back to the BBL when I’m finished, but for now my focus is on my main job.”

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