IND vs AUS: We've just been outplayed, says Tim Paine

Jan 05, 2019, 10:00 IST | R Kaushik

"It's not so much the number of Tests but the number of balls this Indian batting line-up has made us bowl," Paine pointed out

IND vs AUS: We've just been outplayed, says Tim Paine
Tim Paine answers a reporter's phone during a press conference yesterday

Like with all terrific characters, it is difficult to keep Tim Paine down for too long. Australia's skipper showed yesterday that despite two fruitless days on the park, he hadn't lost his sense of humour as he answered a journalist's phone — doubling up as a Dictaphone — that went off during his press conference.

"Tim Paine here," he told the startled caller, then took a message and passed it on to the journalist. "Check your emails!" The fun and games didn't mask the enormous pressure Paine is under as Australia face the unenviable task of trying to save the final Test. India's 622 for seven declared has effectively killed off Australia's hopes of a series-levelling win, the only thing that remains now is to save face.

Leading in to the Sydney Test, Paine had complained to a radio station about the Melbourne Cricket Ground surface which he thought had played into India's hands. Asked about the strip at the Sydney Cricket Ground, he was a little more diplomatic. "It is what it is," he remarked. "We can't really control it, we just have to play better than what we have.

The pitch here and the pitch in Melbourne didn't make us bowl as badly as we probably we have. We've just been outplayed. Both teams have had similar conditions. But from me, who also loves watching Test cricket, I'm sure guys would like to see a bit more pace and bounce in Australia."

Paine conceded that fatigue had played a part in defanging the Australian attack in Sydney. Coming into this game, the quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon had sent down 559.5 overs in the three Tests, and 207.1 in the MCG Test alone that ended last Sunday. In Sydney, they were kept on the park for a further 167.2 overs. "It's not so much the number of Tests but the number of balls this Indian batting line-up has made us bowl," Paine pointed out.

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