Paine delighted with Australia’s apology form ahead of Pakistan Test series

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Australia captain Tim Paine has welcomed some of his team’s recent misdemeanors because their subsequent repentance “showed we’re in great apology nick as a unit.”

Ex-skipper Steve Smith and fast bowler James Pattinson both faced censure for their conduct in the latest round of Sheffield Shield matches, with the latter now set to miss Thursday’s first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.

Paine, though, said the pair’s contrite apologies were evidence his team were “hitting our straps ethics-wise” going into the series.

Smith was fined 25% of his match fee for showing dissent after being given out for New South Wales against Western Australia at the SCG.

He subsequently said sorry at coach Justin Langer’s “values meeting”, something which does apparently exist, and pledged to work on his post-dismissal behaviour. His team mates accepted his apology, presumably with a handshake.

“We’re obviously pretty revved that Smithy showed dissent to the umpire, but that’s the genius he is,” said skipper Paine. “He knew the team needed to make some pious apologies and somehow just found a way. You don’t expect him to ever get out, so to have manufactured an apology window like that is incredible. But we all know how unorthodox he is.”

Langer echoed his captain’s sentiments. “To be honest, Smithy and Patto’s behaviour this week came as a bloody relief,” he remarked. “For a while, people were maybe starting to forget our values-based approach because it’s very much something we don’t like to mention publicly. I’m pretty pleased a couple of the boys have stepped up to the plate.”

Pakistan’s preparations, meanwhile, have been plunged into moral chaos following an unusually sedate period without any on or off field transgressions to show remorse for.

Coach Misbah-ul-Haq admitted his side were “certainly rusty apology-wise”, but remained bullish. “I am extremely confident one of my players will do something stupid that needs apologising for before too long,” he proclaimed.

“If not, we can always recall Sarfaraz.”

As made up by James Marsh (We can’t stress that enough: this is made up.)