Tim Paine Clarifies The Doubts Of Michael Clarke
By CricShots - Nov 29, 2018 9:23 am
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The Australian Test skipper, Tim Paine has rejected former skipper Michael Clarke’s criticism that the current squad is attempting to make people like them. He stated that the focus is on regaining the trust of the Australian people and not being “liked” by the opposition.

Tim Paine

During a chat with the ESPNCricinfo, Paine said, “No one has spoken about being liked, certainly by the opposition. We’ve spoken about wanting to get the Australian public’s trust and make sure that clearly, you want the Australian public and cricket fans to like or love the Australian Test team. We’re still going to play hard Australian cricket, as Michael put it, that’s not going to change. Clearly, Johannesburg was a really strange circumstance, but going into Dubai the guys competed as hard as they could and they’ll continue to, and we’ve got some more senior guys coming back now.”

Clarke had been brutal in his assessment of the attitude of Paine’s team, bluntly stating that they “won’t win s**t” by “worrying about being liked”. His take has been criticized by former Australia opener Simon Katich, who believed Clarke missed the point, especially after the fall-out of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

ALSO READ: Michael Clarke Lashes Out At Australian Journalist

Paine further agreed with limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch, who had recently spoken about the difference between playing hard cricket and resorting to verbal attacks as an easy option.

Finch said, “I think there have been times in the past where we’ve gone overboard with that and actually gone away from what we’re good at. Our No. 1 strength is our skill, so we’ve got to play hard cricket in terms of making it difficult for guys to bat against us and too difficult to bowl against us. It’s just knowing at times we might need to pull it back and make sure we’re getting the most important thing right first, and that’s our skill.”

Michael Clarke

Paine expressed said that he would give his teammates the freedom to choose whether or not they indulge in a verbal banter on the field but noted that his side would not back down if India’s players decide to engage in it during the upcoming Test series.

ALSO READ: Tim Paine Is Happy Being Replaced By Aaron Finch

The skipper explained, “I know some guys enjoy it, [to] some guys it doesn’t matter. The focus for us has got to be on delivering our skill as well as we possibly can, so if guys want to get involved in a bit of that stuff to get themselves going, then that’s great. But we now know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong, and what’s expected. We’re not going to be going over the top, but certainly you’ve got to stand up for your team and your teammates, and I’m sure when the time comes for that we’ll be doing that.”

India and Australia will lock horns with each other for the first Test from December 6 in Adelaide.