Adelaide - Australian captain Tim Paine says he's proud of
the way his team not only fought hard against India but played in the right
spirit as they put on a friendlier face after the ball-tampering scandal.
The opening Test in Adelaide was the first at home for
Australia since the cheating row blew up in South Africa last March, leading to
bans for then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.
A scathing review into the scandal criticised Australian
cricketers for "playing the mongrel" against opponents and in
response the team produced a players' pact vowing to tone down their infamous
Both teams shook hands before and after the match as a mark
of respect and Paine said his team showed you didn't have to "carry on
like a pork chop" to be competitive in a match that went to the wire.
India eventually won by 31 runs on the fifth day to take
momentum into the next Test in Perth starting on Friday.
"We played in good spirits. I don't know about the
Indians, we didn't pay attention to them and we won't be for the whole
series," he said on Monday.
"We can only concentrate on the brand and the style of
cricket that we want to play.
"From a cricket point of view, we have some areas to
tighten up and I thought today was a nice snapshot of how we want to go about
"We fought really hard and never gave up, and you don't
have to talk rubbish and carry on a like a pork chop to prove that."
The Australians came face-to-face in Adelaide with famously
combative Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who thrives on the verbal banter and has
never been shy of riling the opposition.
But while he celebrated wickets enthusiastically, there were
few, if any, niggles between the teams during the highly competitive game.
Paine pointed to the experienced foursome of Mitchell Starc,
Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon as showing the type of
never-say-die, but fair, commitment he wants in the team.
They all bowled consistently and for long periods, and added
valuable runs on Monday in the improbable chase of a winning target of 323,
eventually going down by 31 runs.
"Our whole bowling attack, your see those four together
and you can see how much it means to them playing for Australia, whether
they've got the bat, ball or in the field," he said.
"You can't question their commitment. They have a red
hot crack every single ball.
"That's what we're building to, that's the style of
cricket we want to play.
"They're obviously some of our more experienced players
and I think the more they do that the more it will rub off on the rest of the
group. I couldn't question any of those guys."