Ind vs Aus: Warner protects middle-order, brings in high intensity, says Paine

Paine’s remark comes as Australia gets ready to lock horns with India in the third Test of the four-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), set to begin from January 7. Regular openers David Warner and Will Pucovski were both injured and the duo had to miss the first two Tests against India, but both batsmen are likely to return for the third Test.

“David has been awesome, he brings in a high intensity and he fills other players with confidence, he is a player you love to have around the other guys, he has plenty to say, he is very energetic and professional, I have always loved playing with him, he has made an instant impact with the intensity he brings. Will Pucovski has been amazing as well, he has been out of the bubble so he is excited, he has been batting really well in the nets so he is raring to go,” said Paine during a virtual press conference.

“Hopefully, if he (Warner) gets in and gets away, I think that’s what he does, he puts pressure on the opposition. Regardless of who we are playing against, we are a better team when Warner is in the team, he brings energy to the group and he protects our middle-order. Smith and Labuschagne coming into bat when the bowlers are tired makes a difference, David has a huge role for us and he has played that beautifully throughout his whole career,” he added.

Australia has managed to score 200 just once in the ongoing Test series against India. Commenting on the batting scheme of things, Paine said: “The batting formula is very individual, we want to be batting for a long time but how we do that is pretty much on the player. Warner is known as a dashing opening batter but if India is bowling well, he will respect that and get through that, he likes to be aggressive but he can play accordingly.”

The hosts have a good record in Sydney and most of the players in the line-up belong to New South Wales. Talking about the Sydney Test, Paine commented: “We have a great record at the SCG, some of the guys in our lineup have SCG as their home ground so they love playing here, they love being at home and they enjoy the conditions, our bowlers bowl really well here, our two best batsmen come from SCG and they know the conditions really well. SCG Test is right up there as one of the favourites Test of the summer.”

Over this week, there have been reports that India is not that willing to play the fourth Test in Brisbane. However, Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO, Nick Hockley has already said that BCCI has not said anything formally and the fourth Test is on track to be played at the Gabba.

“It has been unusually tame the start of this series, it’s probably because both teams are happy just to be back playing Test cricket, it has been such a huge break, and there is a lot of respect between both the teams, both are really competitive but yeah, it’s boiling away, some stuff is starting to happen, this Test is going to be fascinating not just from a cricket point of view, unnamed sources from India’s camp talked about where they wanted to play the fourth Test and where not, so it’s starting to grind a few people,” said Paine.

“I would not say frustration, but there is a little of uncertainty, when you hear things like that coming, particularly from India, who we know hold a lot of power in cricket, it is likely it could happen. For us, it’s about focusing on this Test match, we know the protocols and what’s expected from us, what happens in the next week, happens, we are not too fussed, I could care less, if you tell us it’s in Mumbai, we will take a flight and we will go there,” he added.

Both the Indian and Australian line-ups moved to Sydney on Monday after every member of their respective contingent tested negative for COVID-19.

The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Test Series between India and Australia will be telecasted Live and Exclusive on Sony Six, Sony Ten 3 (Hindi), and Sony Ten 1 channels from January 7, 2020, 5.00 am onwards.

India had levelled the four-match series against Australia after securing an eight-wicket win in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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