On Tuesday, Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test to take the series 2-1.
In the World Test Championship (WTC) standings, India now has 430 points while New Zealand, holding the second spot, has 420 points. Sitting in the third position, Australia has 332 points.
“No, not at the moment to be honest. I came here today to try to win a Test match, still looking forward to going to South Africa, a big series there, we’ve had a goal to make this Test Championship final, I think that’s still achievable, so it’s a big focus for us and for me and this group,” Paine said during the virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“As a sportsman, you have more bad days than good days. Batting and wicketkeeping are pretty similar like that. It doesn’t always go your way in cricket and in life, so for me, it’s about soldiering on. I’ve said a few times I still feel like I have an improvement in me. I certainly still want to keep leading this team. We’ve got some unfinished business we set out to achieve as a group, so I intend to finish that,” he added.
Australia is also slated to lock horns against England in the Ashes later this year. When asked whether he wants to lead the team in the high-voltage series, Paine replied: “I’ve said many times that I don’t look past the next series. I’m 36-years-old, I’m loving doing my job, it’s a difficult job and at times like this it can be bloody hard work when you’re copping it left, right and centre. But that’s what I signed up for, I didn’t play my best cricket at times in this series, but that can happen.
“I don’t sit at home and think I’ve done a brilliant job I get home every day, I’m very honest with myself, I know when I make mistakes, and I try to get better. This has certainly been slightly different for me with lots of criticism my way and in the past, it probably hasn’t come my way, but that’s par for the course. International cricket is a big boy business and you’ve got to have very thick skin,” he added.
Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill played knocks of 89 and 91 as India recorded a famous three-wicket win over Australia. The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border’s team by 9 wickets.