The scars of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series are yet to heal for Australian Test skipper Tim Paine who looks to avenge the 1-2 defeat they incurred on home soil to the Virat Kohli-led side, their first loss at home against the Indians in 71 years of cricketing history.
Paine was a newly-announced skipper back then with Australia still recovering from the infamous ball-tampering scandal that led to the suspension of David Warner and Steve Smith. India, for the first time in history, won the Test series opener in Australia, before the hosts bounced back in the second tie. India, however, pulled off the lead with a win in Melbourne in the Boxing-Day Test while the final tie was washed off due to rain in Sydney.
With the Aussies set to take on the mighty Indians in the impending Test series next month, Paine recalled the "annoying" defeat they had incurred two years back.
“Certainly for me sitting back it still annoys me that we lost that Test series,” Paine told 2GB’s WWOS radio on Monday.
“Whether we had Steve or David or not you don’t want to be losing any Test matches or Test series you’re involved in, so that still grinds me a little bit.”
Only seven players, including Paine, from the previous India series have been retained for this contest. Meanwhile, the hosts look stronger with the inclusion of Smith and Warner who were dearly missed in the previous contest.
“I know that it drives a lot of the guys that were involved in that and I certainly know Steve and David are looking forward to coming back and showing just how good they are as well,” Paine said.
He added: “I think we’re a much better all round side. Not just adding Steve and David back into it, which is a hell of a lot of runs to add back into a side, but I think every other cricketer in that team has improved in the last 18 months as well and we’ve been playing some really good cricket, whereas back then I think we were finding our way through a really challenging or different type of set up.
“Everyone is absolutely pumped. The key is going to be last time we didn’t get enough runs, this time, I think a few of our players have spoken about it, if we can make their fast bowlers bowl more overs than last time, I think our attack showed we can get the 20 wickets one way or another.”
The Test series begins from December 17 onwards with the opener at Adelaide.