Australia’s wicketkeeper Tim Paine has not travelled to Melbourne as planned on Friday and instead remained in Tasmania for personal reasons. His father-in-law is reportedly unwell, although Paine is currently still expected to play in the fourth Ashes Test.
“Tim Paine has not travelled with the squad to Melbourne due to personal reasons,” a Crocket Australia spokesperson said. “An update on his travel plans will be provided in due course.”
There are no plans as yet to call up anyone on standby, though the reserve batsman Pete Handscomb is also a capable wicketkeeper and did the job for Australia during the recent ODI series in India. Alternative options include previous incumbents Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill, or South Australia’s Alex Carey.
Australia have deployed only 12 players in the three Tests so far, with Mitchell Marsh replacing Handscomb in Perth, although they may also have to make a decision about Mitchell Starc, who suffered a bruised heel as the Ashes were secured at the WACA earlier this week.