The scars of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series still run deep for Tim Paine who is relishing the chance to level the score against India this summer.
India’s visit two years ago saw Paine take charge of the Australian Test team for the first time on home soil after Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for their involvements in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
India went on to beat Paine’s weakened side 2-1, giving the tourists their first ever Test series win in Australia.
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The bad taste from that defeat is still in Paine’s mouth with the nations set to renew hostilities in the Test arena next month.
“Certainly for me sitting back it still annoys me that we lost that Test series,” Paine told 2GB’s WWOS radio on Monday.
“Whether we had Steve or David or not you don’t want to be losing any Test matches or Test series you’re involved in, so that still grinds me a little bit.”
Australia’s Test team now looks a little different with Paine one of just seven players from that series to still be in Justin Langer’s squad.
Those who remain, such as Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head, are still motivated from the series defeat as this summer’s Border-Gavaskar trophy rapidly approaches.
Paine says so are Smith and Warner, who are still looking to make up for lost time.
“I know that it drives a lot of the guys that were involved in that and I certainly know Steve and David are looking forward to coming back and showing just how good they are as well,” Paine said.
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He added: “I think we’re a much better all round side. Not just adding Steve and David back into it, which is a hell of a lot of runs to add back into a side, but I think every other cricketer in that team has improved in the last 18 months as well and we’ve been playing some really good cricket, whereas back then I think we were finding our way through a really challenging or different type of set up.
“Everyone is absolutely pumped. The key is going to be last time we didn’t get enough runs, this time, I think a few of our players have spoken about it, if we can make their fast bowlers bowl more overs than last time, I think our attack showed we can get the 20 wickets one way or another.”
The first Test starts in Adelaide on December 17, while white ball games start in Sydney from this Friday.