Australian Test skipper Tim Paine felt they fell for distractions created by India during the visitors’ dramatic series triumph Down Under in January. Paine felt India were good at sideshows and the Aussies fell for them.
The series did start a bright note for Australia when they bundled India for 36 in Melbourne Day/Night Test but then squandered the lead in the very next Test where Ajinkya Rahane led India to victory with a century. Aussies had a chance to take lead again in the third Test in Sydney. However, the last day’s fight back down the order from R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari really dented Aussie’s confidence, who struggled to ran over India’s lower-middle over in the decider Brisbane test.
Rishabh Pant did the star turn for a depleted Indian side with a match-winning knock on the final day as the visitors became the first team to beat Aussies at the GABBA in three decades.
Looking back at the defeat, Tim Paine felt India came up with gimmicks that never mattered during the course of the series.
“Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,” Tim Paine said, as quoted by news.com.au.
“The classic example was when they said they weren’t going to the Gabba so we didn’t know where we were going. They’re very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball.”
The 2-1 loss was Australia’s second consecutive Test series defeat to India on their home soil. During the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India had beaten Australia by a 2-1 margin to register their maiden Test series win in Australia. Paine was the captain back then as well.
While the previous tour was historic in its own ways, the series victory which India registered earlier this year was of epic proportions. With no Virat Kohli and most of the key players injured, in the presence of Steve Smith and David Warner in the opposition, India put up a spirited show after the Adelaide debacle to produce three huge results.
They won the second Test at MCG by eight wickets, followed by a memorable draw in Sydney and capped off the series with a win at Gabba, a venue where Australia hadn’t lost a Test match since 1988.