Tim Paine
Tim Paine (AFP Photo)

Australia captain Tim Paine was shattered after India eked out a close 31-run win in the Adelaide Test on Monday.

Resuming the innings at 104/4 in their chase of 323, Australia put up a stubborn defense on the final day. They kept on stitching partnerships, sauntering towards the target but the Indian bowlers kept finding ways put dent on their hopes with wickets regularly.

The stand for the final wicket between Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood brought them 32 runs closer to the target. With the play seemingly headed for a third and final session, Ravichandran Ashwin landed the knockout punch when he had Hazlewood caught at second slip for 13.

“It’s pretty shattering really,” Paine said at the post-match presentation. “[But] Proud of the fight from the lower order. [It was] A well-deserved win for India. We thought we could win, no doubt about that, but our batters couldn’t bat for long enough with our tail.”

Cheteshwar Pujara had set the template of how to survive on a tricky Adelaide surface – consume deliveries, avoid expansive shots, tire out the bowlers. Australia batsmen applied the rule in the second dig but it wasn’t enough.

“We saw how the pitch is playing and told ourselves we are gonna dig deep, but unfortunately, myself, Travis [Head] and Shaun [Marsh] couldn’t bat long as long as we should have,” he said.

Under Paine’s captaincy, Australia have suffered their second defeat in three Tests and are yet to record a win. He said Pujara’s show with the bat was the difference between the two teams.

Pujara scored 194 runs across two innings including a century in the first dig that pushed India out of a hole. “That’s (Pujara) the difference between the two sides. He made us work really hard. We still have the belief that we can win this series. Our best is yet to come,” Paine said.