Skipper Tim Paine admits Australia must improve their “behaviour” after succumbing to a massive 492 run-defeat by South Africa in the fourth Test.
Australia capitulated during the morning session to bring to an end to a controversial four-Test series that was marred by the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.
“We have potentially had our heads in the sand over the last 12 months that if we continue to win we can act how we like and the Australian public will be OK with that,” said Paine after the series decider.
“We have found out in the last month that the Australian public don’t like the way we go about it, so it is pretty simple – we have to improve our behaviour.”
Paine replaced Steve Smith as captain after Australia’s premier batsman was given a 12-month ban from all international and Australian domestic cricket.
Former vice-captain David Warner was given the same suspension and will not be entrusted in a leadership position in future, while Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban. The fourth Test in Johannesburg also signalled the end of Darren Lehmann’s stint as Australia coach, following the announcement of his resignation last week.
Despite taking charge in testing times, Paine is remaining upbeat. “It’s an exciting time,” he said. “We are going to have a new coach and a new brand and culture. It was evident in this match that we have changed somewhat and that will continue to happen. We’ve got a new coach coming in at some stage and he will have a huge say on how that is.
“We have to find the fine line between being really respectful of the opposition and also being at a level that is really competitive, as you should be in Test cricket. It is going to be a different style than a lot of the guys are used to, but I think we will find it pretty quickly.”