'Surprised' Paine thought Test career was over
Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine was surprised by his Ashes selection, admitting he felt his Test career was almost over.
Paine, 32, was named in a 13-man squad for the first two Tests against England, beginning with next week's opener in Brisbane.
The right-hander has played four career Tests, but the last of those was in 2010, while Matthew Wade has been keeping ahead of him for Tasmania.
Asked on Friday if he thought his Test career was over, Paine told a news conference: "I thought it was pretty close if I'm honest.
"I've been working very, very hard on my cricket, particularly in the last 10 or 12 months, probably more towards white-ball cricket. I still thought I could play a fair bit of international cricket with the white ball.
"To be back in the mix at the end of last year, obviously I did a few things right. To have this opportunity is amazing. It's mine to do what I can with it."
Paine has played 38 limited-overs matches for Australia, most recently against India last month.
Still, he said his Ashes call had come as a shock.
"A little bit surprised, but very grateful and excited by the opportunity I've been given in the next few weeks," Paine said.
"I feel I'm ready and can't wait to get up there and make the most of it."
Paine added: "I was in the last Twenty20 side for Australia so it's not as if I haven't been wicketkeeping. I keep every day of my life.
"I'm as ready as I've ever been with the gloves and I'm rapt to have the opportunity and I plan on making the most of it."