'It's going to be a really tight Test series' - Tim Paine after 1st Test defeat

Tim Paine says that Australia should have dismissed India for 200 in its first innings after reducing it to 127 for six.

Tim Paine shakes hands with his opposite number, Virat Kohli, after his team suffered a 31-run defeat at Adelaide Oval.   -  Getty Images

Tim Paine drew solace from the fighting spirit of his men on the concluding day of the first Test, which his team lost. Speaking to correspondents here on Monday evening, the Australian captain said: “We didn’t play our best cricket but there are things to take from this game that I thought we did well. It's going to be a really tight Test series. We expect it to be a real arm-wrestle. I thought we fought really hard, never gave in.” 

The host skipper felt that his team missed a trick in not dismissing India cheaply in its first innings: “India bowled superbly for most of the game, built pressure and we couldn't quite get through those tough periods. I thought we could have cleaned them up on day one for 200-210 and we let that slip. There are things we need to tighten up.”

But when it came to the lower-order, Paine only had words of admiration: “When you see those four (Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood), you can see how much playing for Australia means to them, whether they have got the bat, ball or in the field. You can’t question those four guys’ commitment. The more they do this, it is going to rub off on the rest of the group.” 

With both Shaun Marsh and Starc coming in for scrutiny, Paine jumped to their rescue, and said: “Was Mitchell at his best? Probably not, but I still thought he played his role really well and opened up the game for us at times.” And on Marsh specifically, Paine added: “We all know how good he is, but I just love the way he keeps coming when everyone writes him off.”