Australia Test skipper Tim Paine is hoping that the infamous Newlands’ ball-tampering episode of last year will lead to the demise of questionable tactics by teams to generate reverse-swing.
Paine was instated to the Australia captaincy out of the blue last year following the debacle at Cape Town which ultimately saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being handed suspensions from international and domestic cricket.
Smith and Warner have since made their returns to international cricket after serving their one-year suspension with the duo featuring in the recent World Cup in England.
As he now gets ready to lead the Aussies in the upcoming Ashes series against arch-rivals England, Paine feels that the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal has led to teams being less ‘adventurous’ in their quest to generate reverse-swing.
“I think teams are always looking at ways to get the ball to reverse swing,” Paine told cricket.com.au.
“Whether that’s throwing it into the dirt, or using their fingers to work on the quarter seam, or in England for years it’s been talked about mints being used to impart sheen through players’ saliva – there’s always something.
“The worrying trend was that teams were starting to try more and more methods, and getting more adventurous. So the thing I hope will come out of South Africa is that it will be cleaned up, and it will be a more level playing field rather than teams trying to push the boundaries and develop a mentality of ‘they’re doing this, so we’ll try this’ and ‘they do that, so we’ll try it too’. I think for too long, it was allowed.”
The first Ashes Test between England and Australia is slated to get underway at Edgbaston on August 1. Paine and his men will play a three-day intra-squad warm up game beginning on Tuesday to get battle ready for the hotly-anticipated Test series between the two old foes.
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