Indian National Cricket Team won the third Test convincingly by 137 runs at MCG to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match Test series. Following the heavy loss, Australia skipper Tim Paine admitted his batsmen failed to cope with the high-quality opposition bowling attack in the absence of banned Steven Smith and David Warner.
Paine backs Warner and Smith
The duo is serving a ban for twelve months imposed by Cricket Australia. But Paine sought to explain the defeat to the team’s inexperience in the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner. The duo was banned, along with Cameron Bancroft, for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test earlier this year.
“It is inexperience. It is pressure. India’s bowling attack being probably as good as probably most of these guys have ever faced. It is pretty clear if you take 2 or 3 of the best players out of anyone’s line-up in the world. You’re going to struggle a little bit at times and have inconsistent performances. That’s what we are seeing,” Tim Paine said at the post-match press conference.
Kohli and Pujara are the world-class batsmen – Paine
Moreover, Aussies skipper said that India had their two world-class batsmen with them. With the likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, they had managed to score 400 plus in the MCG Test in the first essay. On the other hand, Tim Paine added that Aussies had missed their two greats – David Warner and Steven Smith.
“If you took Pujara and Virat out of India’s side I think you would have the same conversation. If you have got world-class players that are not in your team, are they going to add to our team? I think they will. So while at the moment it’s challenging and everyone’s frustrated, it is what it is and everyone is working hard. And we’re getting guys who are getting experience of high-pressure situations in Test cricket and learning on the job.” he added.
Furthermore, Marnus Labuschagne has been called up, with Paine claiming that a spin-friendly pitch is on the cards.
“Marnus has been added to the squad, he’ll come with us to Sydney and have a look at the conditions. I think we’re hearing it will spin quite a bit, so once we see that for ourselves we can try to think about the best combination to win that Test,” Tim Paine concluded.
However, with the win, India now leads the four-match series 2-1. The final Test match is set to be played in Sydney, starting January 3, 2019.