Australia skipper Tim Paine enjoyed a good outing in the Sheffield Shield for Tasmania against South Australia, making an unbeaten 111.
Paine said he's been working hard on his batting ahead of the Australian summer that will be headlined by a four-Test series against India. The Australia wicket-keeper batsman has been facing a lot of throwdowns in the nets from former South Africa spinner Johan Botha and Wade Townsend, the Tasmania batting coach.
The work in the nets paid off as he made a fighting century against South Australia at the Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide. Paine said he's been working on some batting tweaks and aims to score prolifically against the India bowlers.
"My batting still a work in progress," Paine said on Friday, despite coming fresh off his third first-class hundred. "I only started changing a few things the night before the game. I'm planning on having a big Test summer."
"No matter your age it's important you're still trying to get better. That's something I'm still trying to do. I was fighting myself a bit out there but I've played a lot of Test cricket and first-class cricket where I've made thirties and forties, so to bat all the way and make a hundred was pleasing. I've still got some work to do, but it was nice to get a big score."
Paine’s hundred gave Tasmania a chance to win the game before Travis Head’s gritty 171* helped South Australia secure a draw. Paine's teammate, Jake Doran, had earlier revealed that the 35-year-old was working on playing the ball late.
"He's always working on things. At the moment he's trying to play the ball late. He's working with our batting coach a lot," said Jake Doran, who stitched together a 153-run stand with Paine. "A lot of taped-up tennis ball he's using for swing. Him and Marnus (Labuschagne) are pretty close – they are always sending each other footage going about their own business."
Sometimes simple is best 💪— ICC (@ICC) October 23, 2020
Tasmania team-mate Jake Doran revealed that skipper Tim Paine has been training against taped-up tennis balls in order to work on playing swing 🎾 👏 pic.twitter.com/XjPW8gCwNS
"It was good entertainment watching (Paine and Townsend) from the balcony … Some of the basic things like that you learn a lot from. He works extremely hard. The way he goes about his training is what everyone looks up to and he leads by example really. He's one of those people who's always doing the extra one per cent things."
Paine will get a break from captaincy duties at Tasmania for the next couple of rounds with Matthew Wade set to return. Ahead of resuming captaincy duties in Australia colours, Paine is happy for the experience gained from leading his state team in the first couple of rounds.
"From a team and captain's perspective I've got an eye on India and thinking about how we can beat them," said Paine.
"Particularly after the layoff we've had it's nice to be back playing cricket and get in the groove of being on your feet for six hours and being tired mentally and trying to keep the rest of your group up and trying to make good decisions for your team. It's all good practice."
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