Ahead of the series-deciding fourth Test against India, Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine on Thursday (January 14) admitted that his mood affected Mitchell Starc most and he failed to get the best out of ace paceman on the crucial final day of the drawn third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Starc finished the third Test with match figures of 1-127 from 41 overs, bowling 16 overs for 0-39 on Day 5 at the SCG – where the speedster’s usual electric pace dipped while operating on and even looked exhausted at the back end of the game against India.
However, the 30-year-old managed to create the chance in the final session, extracting a rare outside edge from the bat of India’s Hanuma Vihari, but Paine dropped – his third dropped catch on the final day of the SCG Test – two off Nathan Lyon’s bowling and he was frustrated.
Paine’s anger and frustration at his failures on a crucial day led to a regrettable exchange with R Ashwin as well as rubbing off on his teammates particularly Starc as India snatched a brilliant draw to avoid Australia taking a 2-1 lead in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Read Also: AUS v IND 2020-21: “Steve Smith feeds off criticism,” Tim Paine warns Indian team before Gabba Test
On Thursday, the Aussie skipper admitted that the Day 5 of the SCG Test was a poor one for him both a leader and gloveman but he will not repeat the same mistakes in the final Test starting January 15 at The Gabba, as he is looking to keep Starc nice and relaxed so he can fire on all cylinders against India.
As per reports in cricket.com.au, Paine said: “My role with Starcy is to try and do the same thing and that’s why I was disappointed on day five; my role with him was to keep him nice and calm and keep him really clear of what I, and we, expect of him.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman further added, “He’s the type of bowler that when you give him really simple and clear instructions and on an even keel, he normally bowls the house down. With my mood on day five, potentially he was one that I affected and was the reason he wasn’t at his best.
So it’s about me getting back to basics and keeping him nice and relaxed, keeping it really clear on what we want him to do. When we do that, he more often than not delivers.”
Starc has a great record at The Gabba in Tests, taking 23 wickets in five red-ball Tests and Paine was hopeful of getting out the best of the pacer after a poor outing in the SCG Test.
Paine signed off by saying, “Some days he looks like what he is – one of the great bowlers in the world. And the next day, he has a bad day like the rest of us. Even his last spell in Sydney I thought was outstanding. We know how good he is, we know that on his day he can rip a Test match apart. But that’s not going to happen for him every day.”