Tim Paine, Australian captain.
Tim Paine, Australian captain.

‘Time for action’: Paine’s call to arms

After 10 months of upheaval, culture wars and mea culpas, Australian skipper Tim Paine is done with the gabfest.

Down a skipper, vice captain, coach, chief executive and chairman since the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering meltdown against South Africa in March, Paine says Australian cricket can only move on by deed.

"There has been so much talk in the last 10 months that everyone is sick of it," said Paine ahead of Australia's first home Test since Sandpaper-Gate, starting Thursday against India in Adelaide.

"There has been so much talk, it's time for action."


Tim Paine says it’s time for action after months of upheaval.
Tim Paine says it’s time for action after months of upheaval.


Much has been made of Paine's move to shake hands with opponents before Tests but he isn't a proponent of the pre-play, football-style huddle and pep talk preceding a walk into battle. The message and mission should already be clear.

"I won't be saying a lot. I am not a fan of the late huddle before going out anyway," said keeper-batsman Paine, who has relished two first-class games for Tasmania without captaincy duty.

"There are 11 guys going out and trying their best who will be so keen because of what has gone on. Thursday morning we will be ready to go, have to do the basics well and start well.

"It is the first time for a while we have a big build up with the states rather than just training."

Paine believes an attack containing Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon offers superior firepower. Paine can't wait to mix it with an Indian unit that hasn't won a series in 71 years since an inaugural visit here.

"It's going to be a real challenge but I think our bowling attack is as good, if not better, than anyone in the world," said Paine.

Paine's predecessor Steve Smith and opener David Warner slammed tons against India in the Phillip Hughes Test four years ago in Adelaide but won't complete ball tampering bans until next March.

Kohli has usurped Smith as the ICC No.1 ranked batsman and returns to the ground where he averages 98.5 with three tons in two Tests. Kohli is a God on the subcontinent but not infallible notes Paine.

"He will be a real challenge as he has been for everyone. He has had every plan under the sun tried at him," said Paine.


Tim Paine has been under the pump as Australian captain.
Tim Paine has been under the pump as Australian captain.


"If we can get them all (bowlers) on song and build pressure on him for a period of time then he's like the rest of us - he's human and he makes mistakes."

Victorians Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb are battling for the final batting berth in the series opener with Travis Head tipped for a maiden home Test.

"It would be a great to get Trav out there, a home town boy. He has been in good touch," said Paine.

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