Cricket

India’s tour of Australia | Last year’s Test series loss still hurts Paine

A time to forget: Tim Paine is dismissed in the 2018-19 tour Melbourne Test, which Australia lost and with it, eventually, the series.   | Photo Credit: Michael Dodge

Test captain Tim Paine 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 holder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

India stunned Australia 2-1 to win its maiden Test series Down Under in 2018-19, which was Paine’s first assignment as skipper on home soil.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was given charge of the Baggy Greens after the 2018 ball-tampering incident that saw then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner being slapped with year-long bans.

Paine told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio: “Whether we had Steve and 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 said.

Every player involved in the loss has improved in the last couple of years, Paine said. “We’re a much better all-round side. Not just adding Steve and David back, 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.”

Paine, who has led Australia to 10 victories in 19 Tests, said the loss was driving the players to do better and that Warner and Smith were eager to show what they are capable of.

“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,” he added.

Clarke’s take

Meanwhile, former Australia captain Michael Clarke has warned that India could be “smoked 4-0” in the Test series if skipper Virat Kohli does not set the tone in the white-ball games before his departure. The 32-year-old Kohli has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. He will lead the team in the white-ball series, comprising three ODIs and as many T20s, and the opening Test at Adelaide before heading back home.

“These one-dayers and Twenty20s is where Virat Kohli can really stand up and lead from the front,” Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday.

“If India don’t have success in the ODIs and T20s, they are in deep trouble in the Test matches and they’ll get smoked 4-0, in my opinion,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:22:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/indias-tour-of-australia-last-years-test-series-loss-still-hurts-paine/article33171789.ece

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