Tim Paine reveals the best player he has ever seen
It was a moment to remember, relish and rejoice for Australia as they successfully retained the Ashes with a sensational win over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford. Aussie skipper Tim Paine couldn’t have asked for a better result from the boys and this marks the best achievement of Tim Paine as Test captain.
Australia set a humongous second-innings target for England as they needed 383 to win but they were bowled out for 197. This means Australia are 2-1 up in the five-Test series ahead of the fifth and the last match at the Oval.
The result also means that the current holders Australia retain the Ashes despite the outcome in the final match of the series.
“I’m not sure I have ever played better,” Steve Smith told Sky Sports. “I have enjoyed my time in the middle. I have come back fresh from a year out, but relaxed and chilled out. I want to be the one in the middle doing my job for the team as I don’t particularly enjoy watching cricket.”
After the match, Paine had mentioned the best player he has ever seen in his career and it is none other than Steve Smith. The latter was the star performer of the series and was named the man of the match award in the wake of glory.
Smith scored 211 and 82 respectively in the game to take his account for the series to 671 runs at average innings of 134.2, including three centuries. Smith was dearly missed during England’s one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley with a concussion.
Paine said: “Steve is the best player I have ever seen. He showed that again in this Test match. He knows the game so well and reads it so well.”
Australia coach Justin Langer also hailed Smith, who tops the global Test batting rankings after returning from a 12-month ball-tampering ban.
“We’ve got the best fast bowler in the world (Pat Cummins) and the best Test batsman in the world,” he told Sky Sports.
Paine also clarified the Kohli and Smith debate by coming up with an interesting statement.
“I thought Virat Kohli was the best batsman I’ve ever seen because of the way he plays in all forms, but Steve Smith… That’s another level.
“He’s a great problem-solver. His hunger for the game, I’ve never seen anything like it.”