Birmingham, After a huge 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, Tim
Paine, the Australia captain, has set his sights on retaining the Ashes.
Australia, who struggled on the first day in collapsing to 122/8, were spurred on by a
brilliant performance by former skipper Steve Smith in both innings (144 and 142) and
an exceptional display of bowling from Nathan Lyon (6/49) on the fifth day.
Paine warned that his team is not satisfied with just one win and will fight to retain the
“We’re over here to do what most Australian teams have struggled to do, and if we
can do it, we’ll be spoken about for quite a long time,” he said. “That’s what’s driving us
– to come to England in these conditions is difficult for us, as it is for England in
Australia – and there’s a big five weeks to come.”
“There’s still four Tests to go. We’re here to win the Ashes; we’ve been quite clear on
that for some time. We’re obviously happy. We’re certainly not satisfied with that, and
tonight will be quite a different feel to most Test wins we’ve had,” Paine said.
The Australian captain admitted that James Anderson’s absence gave them a boost.
The 37-year-old fast bowler was laid low by a calf injury, and had walked off after bowling
just four overs in the first innings, an ICC report on Tuesday said.
“I would be lying if I said psychologically it did not make a difference to our team, and
physically to theirs. It is a big win for us, but they lost their premier bowler so we have to
be realistic about it. That is why it is one Test win and there are four huge games to go,”
Despite the omission of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in the first Test, the
Australian bowlers put up an impressive performance. With so much depth in their
bowling, Australia will have a big decision to make regarding who gets to play in the
Lord’s Test, which begins on August 14.
“We think we have a lot of different options for all different kinds of conditions and
got a lot of our bases covered,” Paine said. “One of the reasons we picked so many
bowlers is because we knew this series was going to [be tough] on our bowlers
coming out of a World Cup. We now have a decent break between Tests and have
two world-class bowlers sitting on the sidelines raring to go.”
“I imagine they will bowl in a tour game this week and be putting their hand up for
selection. Then once we get to Lord’s and see the wicket, we will make a decision
on what combination to go with,” he added.