India’s youngster performed when it mattered, never letting pressure get to them. Instead they were bullish and led the side to a remarkable three-wicket win.
“Whether it was with bat, ball or field, every time we had a chance to go ahead in the game, we let it slip. (It) happened a little bit in Sydney with our fielding and then probably yesterday with our batting,” Paine said at the virtual post-match press conference, facilitated by official broadcasters Sony Networks.
“We lost wickets when we tried to put foot down and couldn’t quite get a partnership together. And I thought every-time India needed to (do) that, needed a wicket, somehow managed to do it, so again you got just to give them credit, they won the key moments,” said the 36-year-old.
Chasing an improbable 328, India rode on a classic 91 by Shubhman Gill, unbeaten 89 by young Rishabh Pant and equally valiant 56 by Cheteshwar Pujara.
There could be question marks over his leadership but Paine does not want to quit the role as yet.
“I had an ordinary day in Sydney. As a sportsman you have more bad days than good days, batting and wicket-keeping are pretty similar like that and it doesn’t always go your way in cricket and in life.
IN PICS: India win Gabba thriller, claim Test series 2-1
<p>Rishabh Pant unleashed a Twenty20-style batting assault to blast India to an incredible three-wicket win in the fourth Test decider on Tuesday. (Getty Images)</p>
“I still feel like (I) want to get better, certainly keep leading this team, as I said we have got some unfinished business, something that we set out to achieve as a group, so I intend to finish that,” the Australian skipper said.
India batted superbly on the final days of the drawn third Test in Sydney and the final Test here. Paine acknowledged the touring team’s effort.
“…and we turned to Sydney on day five and the Gabba on day five in as good a position as you want to be, I reckon, and could not get the job done. There are some things we could have done better, at the same time, India were (as a) batting group amazing on both those day fives,” he added.
Paine said they had their chances to win the series and the fourth Test but could not capitalise on them.
“We walked away from Adelaide with everyone saying we are awesome and we were pretty ordinary for most of that Test match except an hour. We have the last two Test matches we copped up (for) being awful.
“We walk (ed) into day five for both those Test matches at great positions and did a lot of good things. We have been outplayed, we had our chances to win this series, to win this Test match and we didn’t take them,” admitted Paine, who had a horrendous time with the gloves.
Paine said there was a reason they could not hurt India with spin and was effusive in his praise for Pant.
“They (Indians) grow up playing spin don’t they? It is what the Indian team is famous for, Rishabh particularly, he is so skilful that he can hit the ball absolutely everywhere from any line or length,” he said.
The Australian skipper also said that ace-off spinner Nathan Lyon, who played his 100th Test, was fantastic and bowled his heart out.
“But today again I thought (Nathan) Lyon got plenty of chances, close lbw shout early that goes his way and he’s that sort of bowler that goes on a roll. I thought Lyon was fantastic for this series, he bowled his heart out but at times we let him down in the field and at times things didn’t go his way,” he added.
According to Paine, his bowlers did create chances throughout the series and the batters could have scored more runs and helped them.
“The bowlers were ready to go, we won’t be using that as an excuse. We are really lucky that we have such fast bowlers, had we held our catches in Sydney, they wouldn’t have to bowl the overs they did. I thought they did a tremendous job throughout the series, they created chances, and we could have scored more runs and given them more score-board pressure on opposition at times,” he added.