Australia captain Tim Paine has shut down criticism by former captain Michael Clarke that the national team was trying too hard to be liked. Paine said that Australia were “not concerned about being liked one bit” by opposing teams, and were principally concerned with finding a way to win this summer while regaining the trust and respect of the Australian public.
“No one has spoken about being liked, certainly by the opposition,” Pain said. “We’ve spoken about wanting to get the Australian public’s trust and make sure that clearly you want the Australian public and cricket fans to like or love the Australian Test team. Certainly there’s that aspect, but from an opposition perspective we’re not concerned about being liked one bit.”
“We’re still going to play hard Australian cricket, as Michael put it, that’s not going to change. Clearly Johannesburg was a really strange circumstance and a difficult game to play in for everyone I think, but going into Dubai the guys competed as hard as they could and they’ll continue to, and we’ve got some more senior guys coming back now. “With Hazlewood, Starc and Cummins, that’s only going to help guys grow with confidence around them. With guys like Travis Head and Marcus Harris, when you’ve got Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins running in, it’s a bit easier to play that confident, aggressive style of cricket that Australia want to play and our team certainly wants to play.”