Tim Paine, Australia’s red-ball skipper in Tests, has admitted the “annoying” Test series defeat to India still “grinds” him, adding that Australia now has a better all-round side which is pumped up to take on the holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India had stunned Australia 2-1 to win their maiden Test series Down Under in 2018-19, which was Tim Paine’s first assignment as skipper on home soil.
Tim Paine who debuted in 2009-10 had captained Australia in 19 test matches, and Australia have won 10 of them. In May 2018, Tim Paine was named ODI captain for the series in England. However, following Australia’s 5-0 ODI whitewash defeat to England, Aaron Finch replaced him as ODI Captain prior to a series against South Africa in November 2018, highly likely ending Tim Paine’s ODI career.
Tim Paine Said The 2018-19 Defeat To India Still Annoys Him
The wicket-keeper batsman was handed the charge of leading the Baggy Greens Australian test team after the 2018 ball-tampering incident that saw the then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner being slapped with year-long bans.
“Certainly for me sitting back it still annoys me that we lost that Test series,” Tim Paine told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“Whether we had Steve or David or not you don’t want to be losing any Test matches or Test series you’re involved in, so that still grinds me a little bit,” Paine added.
The 35-year-old said every player involved in the loss has improved in the last couple of years. Marnus Labuschagne’s form as he averages 63.43 in 14 Tests will concern Indian bowlers. Steve Smith also averages 62.84 in 73 tests and Indian bowlers should try to get his wicket early.
“We’re a much better all round side. Not just adding Steve and David back into it, which is a hell of a lot of runs to add back into a side, but I think every other cricketer in that team has improved in the last 18 months as well and we’ve been playing some really good cricket. Whereas back then I think we were finding our way through a really challenging or different type of set up,” Tim Paine added.
India had won the first and third Test at Adelaide and Melbourne respectively, while Australia claimed a victory in the second game at Perth with the final match ending in a draw.
Tim Paine: Everyone Is Absolutely Pumped To Achieve Success
Tim Paine, who has led Australia to 10 Test victories in 19 outings, said the loss drives the players involved in the series to do better and even the duo of David Warner and Steve Smith are eager to show what they are capable of.
“I know that it drives a lot of the guys that were involved in that and I certainly know Steve and David are looking forward to coming back and showing just how good they are as well.”
The two teams are set to lock horns again on Australian soil in a four-Test series with the opening day-night game in Adelaide starting December 17.
“Everyone is absolutely pumped. The key is going to be last time we didn’t get enough runs, this time, I think a few of our players have spoken about it. If we can make their fast bowlers bowl more overs than last time, I think our attack showed we can get the 20 wickets one way or another, ” said Tim Paine.
Virat Kohli will play only the first Test while missing the last 3 to attend the birth of the first child. Ajinkya Rahane will take over captaincy as expected in last three Tests.