England v Australia - 4th Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Five
England v Australia - 4th Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Five

Paine’s moment of glory two years in the making

Two years of planning still needed some last day captaincy genius from Tim Paine at Old Trafford before the Australian skipper could soak in the ultimate satisfaction of a dream fulfilled.

Highly emotional after a tension riddled last afternoon in Manchester on which Australia retained the Ashes, Paine credited the character of the entire squad which bounced back from a loss at Headingley two Sundays before, a defeat he said could have broken some teams.

But instead they celebrated with such gusto in their changerooms the entire grandstand was shaking as Paine and his "bunch of bloody good cricketers" revelled in their historic achievement.

"You are going to see emotion when you get a bunch of people together who have a common goal and have worked so hard for it for a such a long time," Paine said.

 

Tim Paine led his triumphant side off the Old Trafford pitch to celebrate hard.
Tim Paine led his triumphant side off the Old Trafford pitch to celebrate hard.

 

"This has been two years in the planning so to carry it out over here under pressure and with everything we've had thrown at us, I couldn't be more proud of the way our group have handled everything.

"The group has clearly been through a bit of adversity, some more than others.

"But the guys sat in that change room have been through what happened at Cape Town and its times like that you find out what sort of people you have got and you find people who can give up or keep fighting.

"I think we have got guys who have come back and kept fighting and are wanting to get better.

 

 

"We haven't had a lot of success and not a lot of happy times. But we are beginning to get them and that is awesome."

Paine could have happily revelled in the personal satisfaction of achieving a feat no other Australian captain had for 18 years, after taking on the job with a cricket side at its lowest.

Inside the Australian cricket bubble praise for Paine has gone to new levels this series too.

But the skipper, while acknowledging the achievement of a childhood dream, preferred to point to a team goal so sweetly fulfilled.

 

Australia had the grandstand rocking during their post-match celebrations.
Australia had the grandstand rocking during their post-match celebrations.

 

"My dream was to come here and win an Ashes. I certainly didn't want to be the captain winning the Ashes. It doesn't mean any more or any less to me," he said.

"I have said a lot of time my part in this team is just one job that many are doing I just get a lot of the credit I suppose. I am just happy to be a part of it.

"I could have been working at Kookaburra so this isn't bad."

England players spoke of taking all the momentum of that last day miracle in Leeds, where Paine conceded he made mistakes as the home team completed a record run-chase, in to the fourth Test.

But the Australians never wavered, nor Paine as he bore the brunt for that loss.

It was the strong sense of unity and purpose, laid out before the series even began, which the captain said set the platform for an immediate bounce back, and now a momentous Ashes win.

 

Paine drew criticism for some decisions at Headingley but got his tactics right in Manchester.
Paine drew criticism for some decisions at Headingley but got his tactics right in Manchester.

 

"In terms of what we've been able to achieve as a group is pretty satisfying from where we've come from in the last 18 months … also from where we've come from even from last week," Paine said.

"That was a loss that would break a lot of teams but we weren't. I could feel it during the week. We turned up here and did our job like good sports teams do.

"Headingley's loss make this all the more sweeter after a lot of people wrote us off."

News Corp Australia


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