‘India forced us into mistakes’: Tim Paine admits Australia played ‘poor cricket’ in Melbourne Test

It was an amazing turnaround by Team India in the ongoing four-match Test series. After being humbled by Australia in Adelaide, India bounced back to winning ways at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Team India led by Ajinkya Rahane dominated the proceedings for the majority of the second Test and came away with a 8-wicket victory to level the series 1-1. The match was finished on Day 4 as India chased down a meagre target of 70 runs set up by Australia.

Having won the opening game comprehensively, one would have expected Australia to come out all guns blazing in the second game at the MCG. Despite winning the toss and batting first, Australia managed just 195 in the first essay and that is exactly where the game went for a toss for the hosts.

And speaking at the end of the match on Tuesday, skipper Tim Paine made no bones about the fact that it was disappointing to hand India the advantage and allow them an opportunity to square the series.

“Pretty disappointed. We played some poor cricket, sloppy cricket for a major part of the game. Credit to India, they forced us into mistakes with the bat, ball, and also on the field. And when you do that against a quality team, it costs you,” he admitted.

Paine made no bones about the fact that the Indians played better cricket through the game. “But again, need to credit India as they put us under pressure,” he said.

The Australia skipper did point out that the team will need to address the batting woes as they have failed to click in any of the innings so far. “We have issues with the batting and need to get it sorted,” he explained. But the captain also praised Cameron Green for showing the temperament to grind it out at the top level. “We’ve seen the temperament that he (Green) showed and as he plays more games, he’ll get even better, which is exciting,” he said.

With the next Test to be played on January 7, Paine said some of the boys may get released to play in the Big Bash League. “We’ll stay together probably although some guys may get released to play BBL games but mostly, we should be together,” he said.

(with ANI inputs)

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