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‘We are having a mare’ – Tim Paine admits to having DRS troubles

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Australia captain Tim Paine admitted to having a torrid time with his use of the Decision Review System, after he failed to make the right call twice on day three of the final Ashes Test at The Oval, as his struggles with the system this series continued.

Australia’s first missed chance came in the second session, on the last ball of the 45th over, when England opener Joe Denly missed a clip off Mitchell Marsh. The visitors opted against the review before replays showed three reds. Denly, then on 54, added 40 more runs before being eventually dismissed by Peter Siddle, six short of a hundred.

The second missed chance came in the final session, after Jos Buttler was trapped in front by Nathan Lyon on 19. Buttler continued to bat almost till the end of the day’s play, before being dismissed for 47.

“I’m getting it wrong,” Paine said at the end of day’s play on Saturday, September 14. “I don’t know what else to say. We are having a mare. We’ve got it wrong. We’re not deliberately getting together and saying: ‘Do you know what, I reckon that’s out, Gaz [Nathan Lyon]. Do you want to refer it? Nah, let’s let keep him batting.’ We are getting it wrong.”

Paine had also been criticised earlier in the series, when he failed to make the right call in the decisive moments of the third Test at Headingley, where he opted for a review against Jack Leach, who was struck on the pads by Pat Cummins, only to discover later that the ball had pitched well outside leg. As a result, Australia didn’t have any challenges left when Ben Stokes was trapped plumb in front by Nathan Lyon, with England still two short of a win.

While there’s a common belief that wicket-keepers have an unrivalled view from behind the stumps, Paine explained his take, citing the two examples from the third day’s play.

“[For] Some I am and some I aren’t [in the best position],” he explained. “I found the one with Denly, I can’t quite see where that hits him when I’m in behind him, so I’m not sure if that hits his front leg or his back leg.

“Then, the one with Lyon, I thought it was pretty close. Again, I go off with where my gloves are going, and I was going a little bit leg side with it. Lyon thought it was a bit high, so two wrongs maybe they make a right!”

Though his team is behind by 382 runs, Paine backed his batsmen to do the job in the fourth innings.

“Batting is going to be all about the skill and our ability to bat for a long time,” he said. “Luckily, if we can get two early wickets tomorrow, we have got a hell of a long time to chase them down, which is great.

“We desperately want to win this Test match and finish this series as outright winners. But at the same time, we’re proud of what we’ve done and that we’re taking the urn home. That was the primary goal of why we came here, so to tick that off has been fantastic and I’m really proud of the way our group, our bowlers, our fielding late today. They just continued to come. That’s the sign of a pretty good side, I reckon.”

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