Australian players who were involved in the previous home Test series defeat to India are motivated to make amends, says Test captain captain Tim Paine. Australia lost to India 2-1 in 2018-19 — their first ever series defeat to an Asian side in the longest format of the game on home soil.
“I know that it drives a lot of the guys that were involved in that and I certainly know Steve (Smith) and David (Warner) are looking forward to coming back and showing just how good they are as well,” Paine told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“Everyone is absolutely pumped. The key is going to be last time we didn’t get enough runs, this time, I think a few of our players have spoken about it. If we can make their fast bowlers bowl more overs than last time, I think our attack showed we can get the 20 wickets one way or another.”
Australia were still reeling from the aftermath of the 2018 ball tampering scandal when they played with Steve Smith and David Warner still serving their one-year bans. The duo have since made valuable contributions to Australia’s resurgence with Smith storming back into Test cricket with a whopping 774 runs during the 2019 Ashes and Warner scoring a triple century against Pakistan later in the year.
Paine said that Australia are a much better side than what they were when India last faced them.
“Certainly for me sitting back it still annoys me that we lost that Test series. Whether we had Steve or David or not you don’t want to be losing any Test matches or Test series you’re involved in, so that still grinds me a little bit,” Paine added.
“We’re a much better all round side. Not just adding Steve and David back into it, which is a hell of a lot of runs to add back into a side, but I think every other cricketer in that team has improved in the last 18 months as well and we’ve been playing some really good cricket. Whereas back then I think we were finding our way through a really challenging or different type of set up.”