Australia skipper Tim Paine unfazed by England's formidable track record at Edgbaston

Sport360 staff 16:37 31/07/2019
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The two skippers pose with the Ashes urn.

Australia’s track record of late at Edgbaston does not bode well for visitors’ chances in the first Ashes Test against England but skipper Tim Paine remains unfazed by the prospect.

The Aussie are yet to win a match at the ground since 2001 when they last captured the Ashes series on England soil and have since gone on to taste nine losses and one draw across all three formats at Edgbaston.

In contrast, Edgbaston has been a near fortress for hosts England with the side unbeaten in nine Tests at the venue since their last defeat to South Africa in 2008. In fact, the hosts have now won 11 matches on the trot at the venue coming into Thursday’s Test.

Despite their dismal track record, Paine feels that the venue for the Ashes series opener is ultimately inconsequential for his side.

“Regardless of where it is, obviously we want to get off to a good start in the Ashes,” the wicketkeeper-batsman was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“It’s really important that you get some momentum early in a big series like this. We haven’t spoken about whether Edgbaston is a fortress for them, because that’s irrelevant.

“It’s about being clear on what we want to do, both individually and as a team. If we can be really clear, come out and execute well, it doesn’t matter if we play at Edgbaston or on the moon, we think our best cricket is good enough.”

It was at Edgbaston itself that England beat Australia in the semi-final on their way to a maiden World Cup title earlier this month. Paine, however, is surprised at the pitch for the first Test and believes it could suit Australia’s strengths.

“The pitch looked a bit different,” the Aussie skipper stated.

“I must admit I was expecting a bit of a green top – it’s certainly a different colour than I expected but there is a thick covering of grass on it.

“Given there’s been a lot of rain, and the overcast skies here, I think the Dukes ball is going to swing around and it looks like, if anything, there might be a bit more pace in it than I was expecting, which again might suit us.”

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