Australian new Test captain Tim Paine lauded team’s spirit and fight with the bat on day three of the ongoing fourth and final Test of the series against the hosts South Africa at Johannesburg.
Australian cricket team is devastated since the ball-tampering scandal came out. It is the must-win game for the baggy green as the defeat or draw will mean their first Test series loss on the South Africa tour since 1970.
After South Africa put 488 runs on the board at the end of the first innings, Australia was 110/6 at the stumps on day 2.
Day 3, Aussies fought back very hard and managed to put 221 runs on the board before getting all-out. Despite suffering from the broken thumb, skipper Tim Paine became the highest scorer in that innings with 62 runs knock as he had to play with the help of some painkillers.
Leading by 267 runs at the end of the first innings, South Africa not forced Australian team for follow-on. At the end of the day 3, South Africa managed to put 134/3 in their second innings and they are leading by 401-runs.
Talking about team’s performance on day 3, skipper Tim Paine praised his team members for providing good spirit and fight.
The Aussie wicketkeeper said, “We were really disappointed with how things went yesterday (Saturday, day two) and we spoke about that. To come out and have a response today, we are obviously a long way behind the game, but the spirit and the fight with the bat, and then the discipline our bowlers showed… I was proud of the way they stuck at it. The same with our fielding, I thought the energy right through the innings was excellent.”
Paine mentioned that their first innings dismissals were poor. However, he is hopeful for the second innings as he quoted, “We were very disappointed in terms of our modes of dismissals (in the first innings), which I thought were pretty poor. But in cricket there is a second innings and another day, so we dusted ourselves off and tried to do as best as we can.
“Now we have to let today go and focus on tomorrow, and try and do things better again and keep improving. When you have got some of your best players not in the side it’s about people picking up the slack and trying to get better every day.”
Speaking of his thumb fracture, Paine said that it’s not hurting too much. He claimed, “It’s OK, it’s got a little crack in it, but I’ve played through worse. It hurts a little bit, but I’ve had my fair share of finger injuries and compared to a couple of them, this one is not too bad.”