Australian skipper, Tim Paine stated that his team cannot afford to become complacent after bowling out India for just 36 runs in the second innings of the first Test match in Adelaide, taking a 1-0 lead in the four match Test series. He refused any talk of having a psychological advantage going into the Boxing Day Test match.
“We can’t pay any attention to mental scars or whatever it is that people are talking about. We know that India is a proud cricket country, they’re extremely talented Test match side. They’ve got some very dangerous players and the moment we take the foot off the pedal and think we’re going alright – think we saw in England in the fifth Test that we can come unstuck pretty quickly.”
After England managed to win the final Test match of the Ashes series last year, Paine stated that the main objective of his team was to keep winning.
“A huge focus since that fifth Test in the Ashes is ‘winning after winning’. And our attitude towards the next game, over the last week it’s been fantastic in preparing for this game.
“We know that some of the players that they’re talking about coming into the side like KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant are dangerous players who like to take the game on and play positively. If we give guys like that an inch, they’ll take them all. So we’ve to be bang on the mark tomorrow as we were in Adelaide. And prepare to turn up tomorrow for another five day battle. We know that we won the first Test well but it was only stumps on day 2 when we were in a serious fight to win that Test match so that’s the attitude that we’re taking into this Test.”
Paine also said that it would become difficult for the Indian team if Australia managed to replicate their Adelaide performance.
“It’s certainly a challenge and living in a bubble or a hub is certainly easy when you’re winning, there’s no doubt about that. Again the flip side of that is you’re really close, you’re really tight-knit, you’re always around each other. It can go both ways.”
“And we’ve been on overseas tours before to India or in South Africa where we’re bowled out for 50 and it can be really difficult. So it’s important for us to turn up with the attitude we had in the first Test, we know that they are just not going to roll over, we have to work our backsides off to get into the position that we did in Adelaide. And if we can do that, then yes Tests 3 and 4 can become a real battle for them. But we’ve to start well tomorrow and put them back under the pump.”
“It’s going to be different, isn’t it?”: Paine on the Boxing Day Test
Tim Paine said that despite having just 30,000 fans for the Boxing Day Test, it was still a thrilling experience. “It’s going to be different, isn’t it? Seeing the MCG sometimes with 30000 you can be disappointed but tomorrow’s going to have a completely different feel. Victoria’s had harsher lockdowns than the most of us, to have 30000 there if you had told us a few months ago we wouldn’t have believed you,” he said.
“Just lucky to be playing a Boxing Day Test at the MCG and to have 30000 fans is certainly better than not playing the Boxing Day Test at MCG. Everyone’s excited, and even being about The G at training, it doesn’t have the usual buzz about it but it’s still a magnificent place to play cricket.”
The Australian captain also said that he was open to the prospect of having broadcast staff in their bio-bubble if Sydney is given the green signal to host the third Test.
“Yeah I think so, if that’s what it takes to get the Sydney Test up and going then whilst it’s not ideal, I think it’s a small sacrifice for everyone to make. The boys would certainly be excited to have another a few people inside the hub to talk to, we get sick of each other,” Paine said.
So we can get some few more people to chat too, it can be good fun. That’s the decision they’ll have to make, like I have said before the hub life is not that bad. It’s not like we’re living in jail or something, it’s still a good way of living. And I don’t think any of us can complain.”