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Paine responds to Warne’s scathing criticism of his captaincy, Test side’s performance


Australian Test skipper Tim Paine has responded to Shane Warne’s criticism of his captaincy and the side’s perceived underperformance in recent tours.

On the back of last summer's 2-1 series loss to India, the former leg-spinner told Fox Cricket that Paine has “had a shocker in the last couple of years as captain”, saying that “tactically he’s been very poor” while criticising his batting adding that he “can’t make a run”.

With that scathing review front of mind, SEN host Jack Riewoldt asked Paine whether he had anything to respond to the current commentator.

“No, I’m going to let it go Jack, to be honest,” Paine replied on SEN Hobart.

“I will bite my tongue, I’ve got some things I need to concentrate on first.

“What I will say though is ‘Warney’ is obviously very opinionated and he’s happy to give his opinion.

“You guys are sitting in there now in the media and his job is to critique … I’ve worked in commentary in cricket, and I’ve worked on radio with you guys.

“Sometimes you need to give your opinion that people don’t like and might not necessarily agree with, but at the end of the day that’s his opinion and we’ll let him have it for now.”

While Paine was unphased by Warne having his say, the gloveman defended his side’s recent performances saying that unprecedented challenges in COVID-19 times have played a part in the team’s inconsistency.

“The other things is, we’re not hiding from the fact we haven’t played our best Test cricket, there’s no doubt about that particularly last summer (against India),” Paine said.

“The summer before that we won five-nil (against Pakistan and New Zealand), and we’ve had very, very little Test cricket.

“So yeah, there are some guys that are struggling for some continuity and some consistency, because Jack, if you played four games of footy in 12 months, you’re not always going to be at your absolute best.

“It can be difficult and this team has had some challenges that no other Australian team has and we’re fighting our way through them.

“Sometimes you don’t quite play at your best, but we’re not hiding away from that and saying we are the best Australian cricket team or we’re dominant or playing as well as we’d like to.”

Despite pointing towards an interrupted fixture as reasons for the side’s lack of dominance, Paine is confident that his men can improve and find their best cricket in the near future.

“We said that ourselves, we think we’ve got plenty of improvement left,” Paine said.

“But, we also think that our best cricket is right up there, so that’s what we’re trying to concentrate on, making sure we’re ready to go for the Ashes and this Test team can play its best cricket.

“But again, we’ve got some challenges with guys being at a T20 World Cup, coming home and doing two weeks’ quarantine in a hotel room without training and then having about eight days before the first Test.

“It’s going to be a challenge not just for us but for England, but yeah there’s some challenges that international sportsmen are facing that others haven’t had to in the past.”

Paine will lead Australia in the first Ashes Test against England at the Gabba on December 8.

Listen to the full chat here.

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