Abu Dhabi: Despite his side having managed an unlikely draw in the first Test against Pakistan, Australia skipper Tim Paine is “reasonably confident” of winning the second Test and clinching the series at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium.
“We know clearly [that] after the last few days we got a little bit of relief and a little bit of momentum, so, we know if we play our best cricket we’ve got a chance to win this Test match,” said Paine, whose team is eyeing their first win after losing all their Test series in Asia since the 2011 Sri Lanka Tour.
The skipper went on to reveal that his side is hungrier for success and they will do everything in their power to get the desired result.
“We want to win every series we are involved in. We are focusing on what we do and if we can do well for five days then we have a really good chance of winning it,” said Paine, who went on to add that being in such a situation with many new faces in the side is exciting.
“Here with three debutants and to be in the top six at this stage is great. We are happy with the fight we showed in the last Test and we are going to take it to another level this time,” he said.
Paine accepted that with the first Test out of the way, his side are a unit that’s a bit more relaxed.
“We come off after a winter and for quite some time it is testing. There’s always going to be some tension and nerves around and I thought the guys handled it reasonably well in the first Test,” Paine said. “We are coming into this Test with a bit more momentum and the guys know what to expect a bit more in these conditions.”
Paine also dismissed the possibility of resting pace spearhead Mitchell Starc despite the left-armer failing to impress. Starc, unlike Peter Siddle, only managed to take one wicket, conceding 90 runs in first innings and bowling just six overs in the second without any success.
“I think straightaway, Michel Starc will be fine to play in this Test, there is no doubt about that. He is in really good condition and bowled well and a lot of overs. It’s a Test match and sometimes, it happens that you are not a perfect role but he bowled 40 odd overs on those conditions. He’s playing a Test match for his country and loves doing it.
“We [will] just have a look at the pitch today. If we do decide to change then we do have good options. If not, then we have full confidence on the guys who played the last Test,” said Paine, adding that they have spoken a lot about patience, partnerships and pressure and will continue to talk about it right up to this Test so that the bowlers understand and know exactly what the team expects from them.
Paine was also hoping that his batsmen can replicate the fight and determination they showed in the second innings of the first Test.
“Everyone has worked hard and made a lot of improvements in these conditions. Obviously it was a bit of a confidence to the dent in the first inning. We are pleased with our top six or seven batsmen sticking to their game and we got some rewards in the second inning in much tougher conditions. That was very pleasing and a confidence booster coming into this second Test,” said Paine.
He revealed that his side is well aware that they cannot afford to lower their guard against Pakistan at any given moment in the final Test.
“We certainly respect how good they are but we think our best cricket is good enough to break them. They are a very good team. They have go clearly some good batters, particularly in these conditions. Their batters are prepared to bat through a long time, something that we are still working at, particularly over here. They have some world-class spinners. We know what we are up against and we know they are an excellent team and even better in these conditions.”