Captain Tim Paine has seen a “very exciting era” for Australian cricket after they have retained the Ashes against their arch-rival England while saying he broke his thumb in the final Test. The series ended in a draw of 2-2, with Australia keeping the Ashes despite losing the final Test at the Oval by 135 runs.
“I’m looking forward to Australia seeing how far we’ve come this summer,” Tim Paine said in a column for The Australian newspaper. “Last year we were a bit lost and were finding our way,” he added after the side struggled in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. I know we have found it now and I am confident this group is the beginning of a very exciting era in Australian cricket. We’ve got the best bowling attack in the world and the basis for a great batting line-up.”
Australia’s win was built on the back of former captain Steve Smith, who scored 774 runs in just seven innings, and a stunning bowling attack led by Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. Paine, however, called Smith “a freak” while also praising Marnus Labuschagne as having “a huge future” after he too joined the party with the bat. But he also said that the last Test was a struggle for himself and fast bowler Peter Siddle as well.
“My thumb was broken towards the end of that Test but it is not displaced, so I should be right to get back into training early,” said Paine, while praising Siddle who was battling a hip injury. “He has copped a bit of criticism for not bowling as well as… we know he can, but the team knows just how heroic he was. A lot of other people wouldn’t have bowled again in the match, but he pushed on because he didn’t want to leave Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins to do extra work.”
Australia’s next Test campaign will begin from November 21 and before that Paine said he needs to rest and he wouldn’t take part in the domestic Big Bash League Twenty20 competition this season.
“Being captain is draining and I think I should take every chance to recharge my batteries,” he said.