Tim Paine, the Australian cricket team skipper had a very tough day 2 in the Sydney Test against India. Cheteshwar Pujara (193) and Rishabh Pant (159*) had blasted centuries as India notched up their second-highest total in Australia, finishing on 622/7 declared. The total has more or less assured India of a maiden Test series win in Australia. Despite all the adversity facing Paine and his side, there was still a moment of fun in the press conference at the end of the day. The Australian skipper was addressing journalists about the state of play when a reporter’s phone rang. Paine decided to pick up the call and what followed was hilarious.
Paine picked up the phone and responded, “Tim Paine speaking? Who is it sorry? Oh, okay. Who are you after? Casey in Hong Kong. Oh, Martin, allright. He is in the middle of a press conference, can I get him to call you back? Alright, no worries. I'll tell him to check his emails. Alright, thanks Casey. Cheers.” Paine then told the journalist, “Check your emails”. The exchange resulted in plenty of laughter and it lifted the mood.
"Tim Paine speaking"January 4, 2019
However, the exchange did not hide the fact that it was yet another tough day for Australia in the field, thanks mainly to the exploits of Pujara and Pant.
The Australian skipper was generous in his praise for Pujara, saying his discipline was outstanding. “We tried to bounce him. We've tried lots of different things. He's faced about a million balls this series. We've tried wide of the stumps, at the stumps, Nathan Lyon's been over and around, I don't think there's too many things we haven't tried and he's been too good for us,” Paine said.
Australia have been made to toil for 170 overs in Melbourne and here in Sydney, they were made to bowl 160 overs on a wicket which lacked the pace and bounce of previous years. Paine said the team was frustrated at the quality of pitches but added the onus was on them to perform as a side.
“It is what it is. We just have to play better than what we have. The pitch here and the pitch in Melbourne didn't make us bowl as badly as we probably we have in this test. We've just been outplayed. Both teams have had similar conditions. But from me, who also loves watching Test cricket, I'm sure guys would like to see a bit more pace and bounce in Australia. Something we've probably become accustomed to in Australia but it is what it is,” Paine said.
Australia’s approach and planning was also brought into focus after India totally outplayed them on day 2. David Saker, the bowling coach of the side, said there was ‘some confusion’ in the execution of the bowling plan, with some bowlers not happy with the tactics employed. “I think the bowlers wanted one thing, Tim wanted one thing. That's not been the case as the general rule but when you were watching from the sideline you could see there was some confusion. Last night we talked quite heavily about the day, more because we thought it was a really disappointing day and we just wanted to get our point across. Some of it was quite aggressive and that's not like me usually. I was quite animated, and I know I was not the only one. JL (Langer) wasn't happy. The bowlers know that,” Saker told in an interview to ABC Grandstand.
"Tim Paine speaking"January 4, 2019
However, Paine dismissed those suggestions. “We always have discussion post game but in terms of being on a different page, no. I think we are pretty clear on what we're trying to do. Yesterday afternoon - and to be fair probably the first hour in the morning then the first hour after lunch we got it slightly wrong. It can sometimes look like that but we know what we're trying to do. Sometimes you don't quite execute and teams can get away from you and that's what happened,” Paine said.