Australian captain Tim Paine admitted that his side was outplayed by the visiting Indian team as the Kangaroos lost the four-match Test series by a margin of 2-1. Paine identified the current Indian bowling line-up as the key point of difference between the two teams and acknowledged that it was the best attack in the world.
“This (Indian) attack was seriously good, I don’t think in Australia we have given them enough credit for how relentless they are. The three quicks bowled pretty good pace, they are relentless in pressure,” Paine said.
“So, it was hard work batting against their attack for seasoned Test players. For Marcus (Harris) and Travis (Head) to show they have got the game to make runs against the best attack in the world is a real positive,” PTI quoted him as saying.
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However, Paine also pointed out that the Adelaide Test could have gone in his side’s favour but it was India who won crucial moments thereafter in the series.
“The Adelaide Test, we honestly feel that we let that Test slip. We thought we had a number of opportunities during that Test to go well ahead and when those key moments came up India outplayed us, to be honest. Looking back now, if we had won that Test, in Perth, outplayed in Melbourne, then a washout (in Sydney), it could have been 2-1 the other way,” he said.
“It’s funny, in a big series of four Tests you go back to a couple of key moments in the very first Test where we let ourselves down, or India outplayed us, and you get to the end of the series and it’s really hard to take,” said the wicketkeeper.
“Coming into the series, we honestly felt in Australia we could beat India. But throughout the series, more often than not, when those big moments came up, Virat has scored runs, Pujara has scored runs, Bumrah has bowled a great spell and we could not quite get through those moments. That’s how you win Test matches. That’s why India won this series,” said Paine.
“Their best players stood up in the big moments or when they were falling behind in a game, one of their good players dragged them back into the contest, or when they were in front of the game they put us out of the game as they did in Sydney and Melbourne. We can learn a lot from the way they went about it,” he added.
Australia finished this series without a single hundred in four Tests. Paine said senior batsmen like Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh did not make their presence felt, even though he just stopped short of blaming them for the team’s failure.
“I don’t think it was just those two, I think everyone in our top seven did not play as well as we would have liked. Travis was our leading run-scorer and Marcus showed in most innings that he could make it at this level. We have got some positives there.
“The rest of us did not score enough runs, so to put that on Khawaja and Marsh is probably a little bit harsh. Both of those players we know are an absolute class, we know they can score a lot of runs. We have faith in them going forward,” he said.
Australia next Test opponents are Sri Lanka after which they can fully turn attention towards the World Cup in England.
(With inputs from PTI)