“I thought both attacks have the ability to take quick wickets – I didn’t think they’d be coming that quick”
Tim Paine was still trying to take stock of the dramatic third day when he gave his initial reaction to Australia’s eight-wicket victory at the Adelaide Oval which saw them bundle out India for 36, but in a warning to the visitors said his team was “well below what we’d expect” with the bat.
At the start of the day, the Test was probably just in India’s favour after Australia were bowled out for 191 yesterday to concede a lead of 53. That performance included them slipping to 79 for 5 before Paine’s unbeaten 73 – which earned him the Player of the Match award – cut into India’s advantage.
Still, it required an inspired bowling performance to turn the match on its head, as Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood combined to take nine wickets.
“At 5 for 79, if we lose another couple of quick ones then India are a long way ahead,” Paine said. “To hang in to give our bowlers a chance to have a little crack under lights last night, then to have Pat start the day like he did and Josh Hazlewood from his very first ball was just on. When you are as tall and quick as our boys and they get it right, it can be an absolute nightmare. Full credit to our bowling attack again.
“[I’m] absolutely rapt with how we bowled in this Test, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do with our batting – our first innings was well below what we’d expect – so it’s a good thing to have a good win and not play anywhere near our best. It fills our team with confidence.
“I said this morning that I thought both these attacks have the ability to take really quick wickets – I didn’t think they’d be coming that quick. We were expecting a real dogfight right to the end -late day four and maybe day five – but it shows the talent we’ve got the ball when our boys execute. If there’s anything in the wicket that’s what can happen.”
The match was finished when Joe Burns top-edged a six that brought up his half-century after he had entered the Test on the back of just 62 runs in nine innings this season. Burns had been backed throughout by his captain, coach, selectors and team-mates, but it was still a significant show of faith, albeit in the absence of David Warner and Will Pucovski.
“Burnsey is a really important part of our team, all cricketers know how hard it is when going through a run like that,” Paine said. “To come out in Test cricket and try and find your way out of it, it’s a very difficult place to be so we are thrilled for Burnsey. Fifty  not out will do his confidence a world of good.”
Reflecting on his innings, Burns, who took a nasty blow on the arm early in his knock, was grateful for the show of support over the last few weeks.
“It feels bloody nice,” he said moments after the winning hit. “In the build-up I didn’t get many runs, I just wanted to keep fighting hard and make people proud. Really nice moment to be walking off with a win for Australia.
“I’ve been trying to keep it as simple as possible. I know if I do the basics well, I’ll make runs. JL [Justin Langer, the coach] has been fantastic, the selectors sticking with me as well helps. You get out here, get into the contest, you are opening the batting for Australia, [and] it’s very easy to get motivated and focus on the job in hand especially against such a good opposition.”