After a huge 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, Tim Paine, the Australia captain, has set his sights on retaining the Ashes.
Australia, who struggled on the first day in collapsing to 122/8, were spurred on by a brilliant performance by former skipper Steve Smith in both innings (144 and 142) and an exceptional display of bowling from Nathan Lyon (6/49) on the fifth day.
Paine warned that his team is not satisfied with just one win and will fight to retain the trophy. "We’re over here to do what most Australian teams have struggled to do, and if we can do it, we’ll be spoken about for quite a long time,” he said. “That’s what’s driving us – to come to England in these conditions is difficult for us, as it is for England in Australia – and there’s a big five weeks to come.
"There’s still four Tests to go. We’re here to win the Ashes; we’ve been quite clear on that for some time. We’re obviously happy. We’re certainly not satisfied with that, and tonight will be quite a different feel to most Test wins we’ve had."
The Australian captain admitted that James Anderson's absence gave them a boost. The 37-year-old fast bowler was laid low by a calf injury, and had walked off after bowling just four overs in the first innings.
"I would be lying if I said psychologically it did not make a difference to our team, and physically to theirs. It is a big win for us, but they lost their premier bowler so we have to be realistic about it. That is why it is one Test win and there are four huge games to go," said Paine.
We’re over here to do what most Australian teams have struggled to do, and if we can do it, we’ll be spoken about for quite a long time.
Despite the omission of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in the first Test, the Australian bowlers put up an impressive performance. With so much depth in their bowling, Australia will have a big decision to make regarding who gets to play in the Lord's Test, which begins on 14 August.
“We think we have a lot of different options for all different kinds of conditions and got a lot of our bases covered,” Paine said. “One of the reasons we picked so many bowlers is because we knew this series was going to [be tough] on our bowlers coming out of a World Cup. We now have a decent break between Tests and have two world-class bowlers sitting on the sidelines raring to go."
"I imagine they will bowl in a tour game this week and be putting their hand up for selection. Then once we get to Lord’s and see the wicket, we will make a decision on what combination to go with."
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