Paine insists beleaguered Australia remain united
- Australia have endured a miserable time in Sydney, but Tim Paine insists his team remain united despite suggestions to the contrary.
Tim Paine insisted he was on the same page as Australia's bowlers after talk of disharmony in the camp on another day of toil against India.
Cheteshwar Pujara (193) and Rishabh Pant (159 not out) did much of the damage on day two of the fourth Test in Sydney as India - seeking to wrap up a first Test series win on Australian soil - pressed on to 622-7, with the hosts reaching 24 without loss in reply.
Australia bowling coach David Saker was quoted as telling ABC Grandstand there was "confusion" within the side on day one, stating: "The bowlers wanted one thing, Tim wanted one thing."
Saker also revealed he and Justin Langer had made their disappointment clear to Australia's bowlers after the opening day, adding: "Some of it was quite aggressive."
Yet when Saker's comments were put to Paine, Australia's captain replied: "We always have discussions post game, but in terms of being on a different page, no. We know all the time, we're pretty clear on what we're trying to do.
"We got it slightly wrong, but we know what we're trying to do. Sometimes you don't quite execute and teams can get away from you and that's what happened."
India's first innings in Melbourne and Sydney spanned a combined 337 overs and Paine acknowledged Australia had felt the effects of two long stints in the field.
Stumps on Day 2 of the 4th and final Test. Daddy hundreds from Pujara (193) and Pant (159*).— BCCI (@BCCI) January 4, 2019
Australia 24/0, trail India (622/7d) by 598 runs.
Scorecard - https://t.co/hdocWC4GEH #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/4YU4hsLMaR
"At the end of a long series you can get some real rewards if you make teams bowl lots and lots of overs," he added.
"That was something we wanted to do to their attack, we haven't quite been able to do it and they've done it to ours.
"With Pujara in particular, if you're not swinging the ball, he's extremely hard to get out. We've tried lots of different things. He's faced about a million balls this series. We've tried wide of the stumps, at the stumps, Nathan Lyon's been over and around [the wicket]. I don't think there's too many things we haven't tried and he's been too good for us.
"We haven't been at our best in the last two Test matches, but cricket is a funny game and it can turn really quickly if you keep working hard and keep helping your team-mates. We've got to keep doing that, keep sticking together. The easy thing to do is to throw in the towel. We certainly won't be doing that."
Amid some challenging questioning, there was one light-hearted moment for Paine in his news conference as he answered a journalist's phone placed on the desk in front of him, prompting chuckles from the assembled media.