Australian captain Tim Paine (right) speaks with coach Justin Langer.
Australian captain Tim Paine (right) speaks with coach Justin Langer.

Lack of Shield stars costing Australia

Australian captain Tim Paine laments a lack of Sheffield Shield cricketers banging down the door for Test selection, admitting the national side is doing its best with what's on offer.

Paine was asked a question in his post-match press conference about baggy greens being handed out to players who hadn't fully proven themselves over long periods in first-class cricket. The question hinted at the selection of the likes of Marnus Labuschagne who averages just 33.23 in first-class.

Paine wasn't commenting on specific cases but admitted "in an ideal world" Australia would have competition for Test caps from batsmen making big scores in domestic competitions.

He pointed to the examples of Michael Hussey and Michael Bevan, who scored around 20,000 first-class runs and demanded their positions in the Test team.

In fact Marcus Harris was the only real Test selection based purely on Shield form for the series.

"In an ideal world, yes. It's nothing that us as a playing group can control. All we can control is how hard we're working," Paine replied.

"As I've said numerous times we are trying our absolute backsides off, we are trying to get better. We can't help at the moment that we haven't got Michael Husseys and Michael Bevans and Jamie Coxs ... it's fantasy.

"We've got what we've got and our playing group is working as hard as we possibly can to improve and get better."

The Cricket Australia selection panel is a favourite punching bag for the nation's armchair critics, and the losing series against India was no different.

The addition of Labuschagne in particular raised plenty of eyebrows, particularly given his minimal contribution with leg-spin at the SCG.

But Paine says he doesn't envy the national selectors. And he's not about to put his hand up to help out with selections.

"I've got enough on my plate at the moment," he said.

"I'm happy when I'm asked my opinion I'll give it. I'm happy with that as it is at the moment.

"As for down the track I wouldn't mind a crack at it in four or five years, that would be nice."