Paine sets sights on ‘mouth-wa­ter­ing’ con­test against In­dia

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Sydney, Aus­tralia - Tim Paine ad­mit­ted it was hard not to think about the mouth-wa­ter­ing prospect of the Test se­ries against In­dia later this year, af­ter a dom­i­nant home sea­son that saw them tram­ple all over Pak­istan and New Zealand with five vast vic­to­ries.

The 279-run vic­tory at the SCG on Mon­day, capped a per­fect Test sum­mer for the home side and meant a full house of World Test Cham­pi­onship (WTC) points to put them sec­ond be­hind run­away lead­ers In­dia, who will ar­rive in Novem­ber for four Tests.

Be­fore then, Aus­tralia's Test side have a tricky as­sign­ment in Bangladesh for two Tests in June and a one-off match against Afghanista­n early next sum­mer, but fac­ing off against In­dia over four matches - two sea­sons af­ter In­dia's fa­mous win in Aus­tralia - is a mas­sive tar­get.

While play­ing down any el­e­ment of re­venge for what hap­pened last sea­son, when Vi­rat Kohli led a 2-1 suc­cess, Paine is look­ing for­ward to fac­ing In­dia will a full com­ple­ment of firstchoic­e bats­men and with the ben­e­fit of the ex­pe­ri­ence the side has had over the last 12 months.

"We are cer­tainly a dif­fer­ent side from what they played against last year and there's more at stake with Test Cham­pi­onship points," Paine said.

"If we can con­tinue our up­ward trend from the last 12 months, then you are look­ing at two of the best sides, so it will be an awe­some se­ries. They showed last year they have a pace bat­tery that can be ev­ery bit as threat­en­ing as ours so it will be one to watch.

"If we go to Bangladesh and play well and get some wins over there, then you come back to Aus­tralia to play In­dia, which is quite a mouth-wa­ter­ing se­ries for play­ers and the fans. It's hard not to be look­ing at that. We've got some peo­ple who're em­ployed in Cricket Aus­tralia who are al­ready look­ing ahead at that se­ries.

"But for the main play­ing group, your goal is Bangladesh and you cer­tainly can't take it lightly. We went there be­fore and won a Test and lost a Test. And all the re­ports from the guys who went there is that it's a re­ally, re­ally chal­leng­ing place to play par­tic­u­larly the time of the year we're go­ing to be there."

Paine had started this sum­mer ‘ex­pect­ing’ to win all five Tests but said that the mar­gins of vic­tory did not re­flect how hard his team were pushed. One of the most pleas­ing as­pects for him was learn­ing from the pre­vi­ous se­ries against In­dia and espe­cially the Ashes in Eng­land.

"Think at times in Eng­land when the big mo­ments came up we tried too hard and let the emo­tion of the game take over us ex­e­cut­ing our skills," he said.

"It's about do­ing your role, and the teams that can do that win the big mo­ments. There were pe­ri­ods of the Test se­ries against In­dia and Eng­land that we should have cap­i­talised on, but through want­ing it too much or putting too much pres­sure on our­selves we let op­por­tu­ni­ties slip.

"So con­fi­dence, learn­ing and hav­ing some ex­pe­ri­enced Test play­ers back as cer­tainly helped."

"We're be­com­ing a more con­sis­tent team. We've prob­a­bly been a lit­tle more ruth­less. It's a re­ally good sign, af­ter we let some op­por­tu­ni­ties slip in Eng­land. And we've got some real match-win­ners and great qual­ity through­out our side. It's an ex­cit­ing team to be a part of."

Tim Paine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.