Tim Paine a doubtful starter for Melbourne Boxing Day Test

Tim Paine (right) has 130 runs from five innings
Tim Paine (right) has 130 runs from five innings this series

Australia wicket-keeper batsman Tim Paine's participation in the Boxing Day Test against England in Melbourne is under doubt due to personal reasons.

Paine did not travel with the rest of the squad to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and instead decided to remain in Tasmania to be with his ill father-in-law according to media reports.

The news was confirmed by a statement released by Cricket Australia.

"Tim Paine has not travelled with the squad to Melbourne due to personal reasons," read the release.

"An update on his travel plans will be provided in due course."

If Paine fails to make the cut for the game on 26th December, Peter Handscomb is likely to be drafted into the line-up and will don the wicket-keeping role.

Handscomb, who lost his place to Mitchell Marsh in the WACA Test said he is confident of gaining the confidence of the selectors, if given another chance.

"I'm quite confident with the way I'm batting at the moment," said Handscomb.

"I'm not really that worried about my game at the moment.

"I know how well I can play and I know how tough Test cricket is. "[If] I come back in at any stage I'm pretty confident I'll be able to come in and make runs."

Australia have already claimed the Ashes series following wins in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

© Cricket World 2017


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