Australian captain Tim Paine says he’s proud of the way his team not only fought against India but played in the right spirit as they put on a friendlier face in their first home Test after the ball-tampering scandal.
A review into the scandal criticised Australia’s cricketers for “playing the mongrel” against opposing teams and in response the side produced a players’ pact vowing to tone down their abrasive attitude.
Both teams shook hands before and after the match as a mark of respect and Paine said his team showed you didn’t have to “carry on like a pork chop” to be competitive in a match that went down to the wire.
The visitors eventually won by game 31 runs on the fifth day at the Adelaide Oval to take momentum into the next Test in Perth, starting on Friday.
Paine told reporters after the match: “We played in good spirits. I don’t know about the Indians, we didn’t pay attention to them and we won’t be for the whole series.
“We can only concentrate on the brand and the style of cricket that we want to play.
“From a cricket point of view, we have some areas to tighten up and I thought today was a nice snapshot of how we want to go about it.
“We fought really hard and never gave up, and you don’t have to talk rubbish and carry on a like a pork chop to prove that.”
The home side came face-to-face in Adelaide with combative Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who thrives on the verbal banter and has never been shy of riling the opposition.
But while he celebrated wickets enthusiastically, there were few, if any, niggles between the teams during the highly competitive game.
Paine pointed to the experienced foursome of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon as showing the type of never-say-die, but fair, commitment he wants in the team.
They all bowled consistently and for long periods, and added valuable runs on Monday in the improbable chase of a winning target of 323, eventually going down by 31 runs.
Paine added: “Our whole bowling attack, you see those four together and you can see how much it means to them playing for Australia, whether they’ve got the bat, ball or in the field.
“You can’t question their commitment. They have a red hot crack every single ball.
“That’s what we’re building to, that’s the style of cricket we want to play.
“They’re obviously some of our more experienced players and I think the more they do that the more it will rub off on the rest of the group. I couldn’t question any of those guys.”
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