Ahead of the third Test in Melbourne, Australian skipper Tim Paine said that their side is improving with every game but that does not mean that they are not on top of their opponents.
With the four-match series level at 1-1, Paine said, “I don’t feel like we are on top of them. We feel like we are getting better with every Test. We are improving with every game but we need to keep stacking up good days and play good Test cricket. If we can do that for the next 4-5 days I think we will be in the thick of it again.”
“Certainly when you have an inexperienced team and you get a big win like in Perth against the number one team in the world, guys are going to grow in confidence a little bit and come to Melbourne feeling better than when we did to Perth,” the skipper said.
Paine is not bothered about the three changes that the visitors have made, going into the Boxing Day Test, with Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja replacing openers Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav. “India’s changes don’t really bother us because we have done our homework on all of their players for a number of weeks now. We have been prepared for all of them to play. What they do is their business, and we will keep focussing on what we are doing,” Paine said.
Australia named their playing eleven with Mitchell Marsh replacing Peter Handscomb for the third Test. “We did it last year during the Ashes as well and majority of this decision is based on the fact that it will be hot and the bowlers have had a big role play. We think Mitch can come in and do a good job with the bat and will be a great support for our bowlers as well,” he said.
“Peter knows that there are things we would like him to improve. Going into Sydney, where it normally spins, I think he will come back into it quickly because he is our best player of spin. He would like to get better because we all like to do that and he will be doing everything he can to come back into the side,” Paine added.
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