Australia bounced back well from their recent turmoil in the wake of the Sandpapergate scandal and have remained unbeaten over the past few months. They thrashed every opponent that they faced at home this summer and Test captain Tim Paine believes that the Kangaroos will be a ruthless unit when India tour their country next summer. India beat Australia 2-1 in a Test series in 2018-19 and will play them in a four-match series starting this November. Paine was the captain in that series and will look to turn around things against Virat Kohli’s team.
Paine’s side whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 on Monday by winning the third and final Test in Sydney by 279 runs inside four days. They won the first Test in Perth by 296 runs and second Test in Melbourne by 247 runs. Marnus Labuschagne was adjudged the man of the series for belting 549 runs in the series. He also finished as the man of the match in Sydney for slamming a double hundred and a fifty. Before winning this series, Australia beat Pakistan by an innings in both Tests that they played – in Brisbane and Adelaide.
“I came into this summer expecting to win all five tests,” an elated Paine told reporters. “I think now we’ve got a team together that is really consistent, we’ve got a number of match-winners with both bat and ball and our lesser players have improved a hell of a lot over the last 12 months. We’ve probably become more ruthless which was something we wanted to be … We’ve got great quality throughout our side and it’s a very exciting team to be part of,” he added.
The five consecutive wins took Australia to the second position in the ICC Test Championship points table with a tally of 296 from 10 games. India are ranked top with 360 points from seven games with victories in every other match.
We’re a different side than what India played last, says Paine
Australia next tour India for a three-ODI series but Paine is unlikely to be a part of that series. He will lead Australia for a two-Test series in Bangladesh in June-July and then take on India in what the Australian fans will be seeing as the ‘revenge series’.
“We’re certainly a different side than what they played against last year,” Paine added. “There’s (also) test championship points at stake and I think both India and Australia are eyeing off that final so every point is going to be critical. If we can continue our upward trend, you’re potentially talking about the top two teams in the world so it’s going to be an awesome series,” the Tasmanian added.
Former captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner did not play in the last series against India as they were serving a year-long ban because of the ball-tampering scandal.
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