‘Teamwork’ flavour of Australian summer
Captain Tim Paine pointed to teamwork on Sunday as the crucial factor in Australia winning all four home Tests so far this Australian summer, and all inside four days.
After crushing Pakistan twice, they have now done the same to New Zealand, wrapping up their three-Test series against the Black Caps with a 247-run thrashing here at the MCG.
A first innings Travis Head century, 85 from Steve Smith and 79 by Paine took the game away from the visitors after Australia lost the toss and were put into bat. Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon then led the attack in dismissing New Zealand twice.
Paine said it was all about players stepping up when others were having an off day. “I think it shows that we’re starting to spread the load,” he said.
“When we work together as a team and build pressure, one day it’s going to be Pat, the next day it’s going to be Nathan (Lyon), another day it’s going to be James Pattinson and then it’s going to be Mitchell Starc.
“We just keep driving that home to the entire team,” he added. “If we keep building pressure as a team, we’ve got some absolute firepower and we know that all of them are going to have their day in the sun.”
Paine said the same applied to the batting, where some fired in Melbourne and others didn’t. “The same with the batting — trying to build partnerships, trying to take the opposition’s bowlers really deep and make them bowl lots of overs,” he said.
“At some stage we’re all going to get a chance to score lots of runs as well.”
Australia, who retained the Ashes in England before heading into the home summer, have one final Test against the Black Caps in Sydney later this week.
Be like Blundell
Paine’s counterpart Kane Williamson said his team needs to mirror the fighting spirit of century-maker Tom Blundell in order to bounce back in the final Test. Opener Blundell was the last man out after compiling a battling 121.
'Obviously, it was hard work out there as the task was immense. But you look at some small positives... That was a truly fantastic innings,' Williamson said.
“He led the way and it is important that we all take something from that.”