India vs Australia: Remove Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and India will struggle too, says Tim Paine
Australian skipper Tim Paine on Sunday said the absence of former Aussie captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner from the national side has brought inconsistency in the team.
Speaking to media after Australia’s massive 137-run defeat, Paine said: “It is inexperience. It is pressure. India’s bowling attack being probably as good as probably most of these guys have ever faced. It is pretty clear, if you take 2 or 3 of the best players out of anyone’s lineup in the world, you’re going to struggle a little bit at times and have inconsistent performances. That’s what we are seeing.”
The wicket-keeper batsman also insisted that if Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara would be left out from India, the visiting team would suffer too.
“If you took Pujara and Virat out of India’s side I think you would have the same conversation. If you have got world-class players that are not in your team, are they going to add to our team?” Paine asked.
“So while at the moment it’s challenging and everyone’s frustrated, it is what it is and everyone is working hard and we’re getting guys who are getting the experience of high-pressure situations in Test cricket and learning on the job. At times you’re going to get inconsistency from guys that are in that situation. The silver lining is that we have got world-class players that are available soon to come back into this side and clearly when they do it will make a huge difference,” Paine further explained.
Paine also heaped praises on Indian bowlers and said Oz team’s top order batsman struggled against the opposition.
“In Perth, on a really tough wicket, our top six dug in and had a real crack. In this game, no doubt we were a little bit disappointing. That’s going to happen from time to time. We have to make sure we’re improving and our good and our bad is a little bit closer together than what it has been in the last couple of Tests. But I think it’s pretty common when you’ve got inexperienced players in your top six against high-quality bowling,” he added
“Their pace bowling, in particular, has been incredibly disciplined and has worn guys down. That is a factor why we are having a lot of starts because they are just bowling really well and making it really hard to score. They grind you down and force you to make a mistake. There’s a little bit from our side, but you’ve also got to give them a huge amount of credit for the way they’ve been bowling as a group in this series and probably the last 12 months,” Paine said.
With their 137-run win in Melbourne, team India have taken the lead of 2-1 in the ongoing four-match Test series. The fourth and last Test match of India and Australia series will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting on Thursday, 3rd January.