Ahead of the second Test against Pakistan, Australia skipper Tim Paine said winning a series in Asia will be ‘ a massive thing’.
Whether it was the all-conquering Australian side of the 2000s or the recent teams, the team from Down Under has always had a tough time while playing Tests in Asia. Who can forget the iconic series in India in 2001 when the hosts ended Australia’s 16-match winning run and had gone on to win the series 2-1.
There was a period between 2002 and 2006 when they had a stunning record in Asia, winning ten out of 12 Tests: they blanked Pakistan and Sri Lanka 3-0, beat India 2-1 and Bangladesh 2-0. But since then, Australia have endured a tough time in Asian conditions.
The one bright spot was in 2011, when they defeated Sri Lanka 1-0. But they have lost three series in India, one in Sri Lanka and drew one in Bangladesh.
Well, the team from Down Under has another opportunity to win a series in Asia and their skipper Tim Paine knows the importance of winning a series in these conditions.
“It’d be a massive thing for any Australian side, and for this one in particular. I touched on it last week that not many people gave us a chance over here, which is a great opportunity for us to prove people wrong and a great thing to keep driving us.
“We’re trying to get better every day, and if we manage to play our best next week maybe that is possible. But we’ve got to turn up for a really tough match, it’s going to last five days and we’ve got to be on for all of those five days and every session,” Paine told reporters ahead of the second Test against Pakistan.
A series-win will also be huge boost for a team that has started a new era after the ball-tampering fiasco. Under new coach and a new captain, they made a stunning start by salvaging a hard-fought draw in the first Test last week.
The likes of Usman Khawaja, Paine and Travis Head batted out of their skins to deny Pakistan a win.
Paine, meanwhile, ruled out any changes in the batting line-up, saying:
“Yes, top six will be the same as the last Test. We may consider tweaking the batting order. I know guys had their individual meetings yesterday and all that stuff was discussed.”
The second Test gets underway on Tuesday (October 16 ) in Abu Dhabi.