Melbourne: Australian skipper Tim Paine believes that the foundation of their first-ever Test series loss to India on their home soil was laid during the opening Test in Adelaide which the hosts had lost by 31 runs.
Paine said that they let the first match slip out of their hands and missed the opportunity to go “well ahead” of India. He stated that if the team had won the Adelaide Test, the result would have been different for them.
“I think the obvious one (turning point) was the Adelaide Test. We honestly feel that we let that Test match slip. We thought we had a number of opportunities during that Test to go well ahead of the game and when those key moments came up India outplayed us to be honest,” Cricket.com.au quoted Paine, as saying.
“Looking back now, if we’d won that Test, win Perth, we got outplayed in Melbourne, then a washout (in Sydney) it could have been 2-1 the other way. It’s funny, in a big series of four Tests, five days a match you go back to a couple of key moments in the very first Test match where we let ourselves down, or India outplayed us, and you get to the end of the series and it’s really hard to take,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, while picking up the positive points of the series, said that performance by their batsmen Marcus Harris and Travis Head would be one of the key takeaways for them.
Paine also defended Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh who faced criticism for their not-so-impactful show in the series. He rather put the onus of defeat on the “top seven” players in the team.
“I think everyone in our top seven didn’t play as well as we would have liked. I thought Marcus Harris and Travis Head, Travis was our (second) leading run-scorer and Marcus showed in most innings that he could make it at this level, we’ve got some positives there,” Paine said.
“The rest of us didn’t score enough runs, so to put that on ‘Uzzie’ (Khawaja) and Shaun is probably a little bit harsh. Both of those players we know are an absolute class. We know they can score a lot of runs. We have faith in them going forward,” he added.
India registered a historic 2-1 Test series win over Australia after the final Test of the four-match series ended in a draw. Next, India and Australia are slated to take on each other in a three-match ODI series beginning January 12 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.