‘We’re not going over to be the nicest Australian cricket team ever’
Australia captain Tim Paine insists they will go to England to win the ODI series while also trying rebuild their shattered cricket image.
The Aussies will play five ODIs and a T20I in the UK in what will be their first tour since the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.
New coach Justin Langer and Paine are looking to reset Australia’s reputation but Paine does not feel it should come at the cost of results.
Paine said before the team’s departure to the UK: “We’re going over there to win this series.
“We’re not going over there to make up the numbers or to be the nicest Australian cricket team ever to play against.
“We’re going to be really competitive; at the same time we’re going to be really respectful, but we’re going there to win.
“We’re probably going to get a bit more intense spotlight from their media when we first arrive.
“But we’ve spoken about the way we want to hold ourselves, the way we want to behave, and I’m sure once we get there and get into playing cricket, those sorts of things will die off into the background and cricket will be the number one focus.”
Australia’s 14-man squad looks depleted with the absence of the team’s two best batsmen, Steve Smith and David Warner – who are both banned – and the first-choice pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who are all injured.
Paine wants the senior players in the team to step up and perform on the field with the wicketkeeper referencing Glenn Maxwell, who has had a very inconsistent career.
The new Australia Test and ODI leader said: “I’ve had a few chats with Maxy this week about where he thinks he could be of best value to this cricket side, because I think he’s, even at international level, an out-and-out match-winner.
“If we can get Maxy playing in a role he’s really comfortable in and it complements our team, he can be really important for us this series. England are the No. 1 team in the world, and Maxy’s the kind of player who can really trouble them.”
Australia play two practice one-dayers against Sussex at Hove on 7 June and two days later against Middlesex at Lord’s before the five-match ODI series kicks off on 13 June at The Oval.
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