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Tim Paine to join Australia squad on Sunday

Tim Paine (right) is set to feature in the Boxing Day Test
Tim Paine (right) is set to feature in the Boxing Day Test

Australia wicket-keeper batsman Tim Paine is set to join the squad on Sunday ahead of the Boxing Day Test against England in Melbourne.

The 33-year-old remained in Tasmania to take care of his ill father-in-law while the rest of the squad reached the venue on Friday.

Peter Handscomb remained as a cover for Paine but the latter is now set to rejoin his team-mates on Sunday as Australia look to stretch their lead 4-0 after already claiming the series.

Fast bowler Jackson Bird stated that the thoughts of the Australian team are with Paine and his family and expressed confidence that he will come back strong.

"It's a terrible time for Tim's family and Bonnie's family as well," said Bird.

"The thoughts of the Australian team and our families and the Australian public are all with Bonnie and Tim during this tough time.

"Tim's one of the most mentally strong players I've ever played with.

"I think he's shown that in the past couple of weeks. To get back into the Test team and perform how he has after such a long period out where he had so many career-threatening injuries where he thought he might not get back.

"If there's anyone who could compartmentalise that, I think it's Tim."

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