Paine rues Adelaide mistakes after series defeat

By Sports Desk January 07, 2019

Tim Paine felt missed opportunities in the first Test in Adelaide proved pivotal as Australia slumped to their first home series defeat to India.

A washout on day five saw the fourth Test drawn in Sydney, meaning India completed a historic 2-1 triumph.

Paine conceded India had been the better team throughout the four matches, but he felt crucial moments in the opening Test decided the outcome of the series.

Having lost the toss, Australia reduced India to 86-5 in their first innings but Cheteshwar Pujara's superb century guided his side to a respectable total given their earlier troubles.

Australia duly conceded a first-innings lead of 15 and were ultimately beaten by 31 runs after falling short in pursuit of 323.

"I think the obvious one [turning point] was the Adelaide Test," Paine told a media conference.

"We honestly feel that we let that Test match slip.

"We thought we had a number of opportunities during that Test to go well ahead of the game and when those key moments came up India outplayed us to be honest.

"Looking back now, if we’d won that Test, win Perth, we got outplayed in Melbourne then a washout [in Sydney] it could have been 2-1 the other way.

"It’s funny, in a big series of four Tests, five days a match, you go back to a couple of key moments in the very first Test match where we let ourselves down, or India outplayed us, and you get to the end of the series and it’s really hard to take."

Paine also credited India's star players for delivering when their side needed them the most, something he knows his young squad need to learn as they continue to wait for Steve Smith and David Warner to return from their ball-tampering suspensions.

He added: "We know we had some guys missing but we honestly felt coming into the series that, in Australia in particular, we could beat India. But throughout the series, more often than not, when those big moments came up, Virat [Kohli] has scored runs, Pujara has scored runs, [Jasprit] Bumrah has bowled a great spell and we couldn't quite get through those moments.

"That's why India won this series, their best players stood up in the big moments - when they were falling behind in a game, one of their good players dragged them back into the contest, or when they were in front of the game they put their foot on us and put us out of the game like they did in Sydney and Melbourne.

"We can learn a lot from the way they went about it and we'll make sure we do. We've got faith that the guys around the team are the right guys."

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