Tim Paine aims to target Ajinkya Rahane, recounts banter strategy against Rishabh Pant

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Both India and Australia are ready to take on each other in the much-awaited four-match Test series, starting from December 17. However, before the first Test starts, Australia captain Tim Paine revealed that they have plans to counter the India captain, Virat Kohli, who will play only the first Test at the Adelaide Oval.

“Everyone has got great plans against the best players…that is why they are best players because they can adapt. They can change what you are doing and Virat is certainly one of the best if not the best in the world. There are going to times when they do get away against you – there is just one Test hopefully he doesn’t – but we have plans against him that have worked against him and hopefully, they work against him. But if not then we have a couple of different plans,” said Paine while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

Notably, Australia wouldn’t get one of their best players, David Warner who was ruled out due to injury. However, Paine said that they have a quality bowling attack, which is good enough to give a tough fight to the Indian Team as well. He also named Nathan Lyon, Cameron Green, Marnus Labuschagne who all have different actions apart from their pace bowlers like Mitchell Starc.

However, the wicketkeeper-batsman said that they have an advantage in the pink-ball Test, which will also be a day-night one. They have played more games than India and won all of it too. Even, Starc has a great record where he has taken 42 wickets in the seven Tests he has played so far.

“Starcy is good to go. He bowled quite quickly in the nets yesterday. He is in good shape, he had an unfortunate family situation going on, but we are thrilled to have him back in the squad. His pink ball record is absolutely outstanding. He is an absolute nightmare to face with the pink ball whether it is day or not. Again he is a huge asset to us. We are thrilled to have him back,” further added Tim Paine.

However, Paine mentioned that they will target the vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as he can turn the table as well. Notably, Rahane will lead India in the absence of Virat Kohli who will return home to be with his wife, Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant too has scored a century in the warm-up games recently. And, his form will be crucial for the team as well.

“When he (Kohli) leaves, we know the talent they have got all the way down their list. (Cheteshwar) Pujara obviously troubled us a lot last year so obviously he will be a big key to us but we know the talent. Rishabh (Pant) came in the last week’s A game (warm-up tie) and made a quick hundred. So they have got guys around that can take away the Test match from you away quickly but we got to be really across all of them. But clearly, yeah, Rahane held the team together, he was the glue last series. He is a huge focus for us,” concluded Tim Paine.

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