Tim Paine became the first Australian captain to lose a Test series to India at home when Virat Kohli’s men beat Australia 2-1 in 2018-19. A couple of years later, Paine has a chance to set the record straight as India are slated to play 4 Tests in Australia starting from December 17 in Adelaide. Ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the Australia Test captain, however, admitted that the defeat to India in his first assignment on home soil still annoys him.
“Certainly for me sitting back it still annoys me that we lost that Test series,” 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.
Paine was handed over the leadership of Australian Test side after regular captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner were slapped with year-long bans by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal in 2018 in South Africa.
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The dynamic duo are back in the mix for this series and Paine said Australia have a strong all-round side.
“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.”
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 Warner and 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.”
(With PTI inputs)