Paine brims with confidence ahead of second Test
The Aussies arrive in the Bay with a spring in their step, having gone 1-0 up in the four-match series
Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine is expecting similar conditions to those experienced in Durban for the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The Aussies arrived in the Bay with a spring in their step, having gone 1-0 up in the four-match series after a 118-run win in Durban on Sunday.
There were two major differences between the sides in the opening exchange of the series: Australia’s ability to extract more runs from their lower order and Mitchell Starc’s devastating reverse swing.
The strapping left-arm fast bowler ran through SA’s tail, taking 9/109 in the match.
Paine expects the ball to reverse again, and it remains to be seen if the South Africans have come up with a plan to counter Starc.
"It’s been quite slow [in the past]. It’s been favourable conditions I suppose for reverse swing so we expect probably something similar to what we got last week.
"But if not we have to adapt quickly and whatever conditions we get, it’s about starting well‚" said Paine.
"We got a little bit of momentum from the last Test so … start well in the first hour in a couple of days’ time and go from there," he said.
Paine said the Australian top-order batsmen will be aiming to make a more meaningful contribution than they did in the first Test. "We think we can improve in all aspects. We spoke about periods of the game where we batted and bowled really well, and then there were a few minor things we thought we could get better at."
Asked whether he thought controversial vice-captain David Warner would be pumped up more than ever to perform in the wake of the controversy with SA wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock‚ the wicketkeeper said he did not expect anything different.
"I don’t think so. Every time he plays for Australia Davey is pretty fired up and ready to go," he said.