Infotainment Factory: Paine's extraordinary bad luck sets new mark

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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Paine's extraordinary bad luck sets new mark


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It’s the one piece of bad luck that, deep down, Tim Paine is hoping continues in Perth.

Heading into his fifth Test in charge of the national side, Paine is not only yet to captain Australia to a Test victory, he hasn’t even been able to win a toss.

Paine is just the third Australian captain, and first since Richie Benaud in 1958-59, to lose his first four tosses as captain.

Only Billy Murdoch way back in the 1880s lost the toss in each of his first five Tests as captain.

Most Australian captains have followed Ian Chappell’s theory when it comes to winning the toss: nine times out of ten you bat first, and on the tenth time you think about bowling but still bat first.

But the sight of a green pitch at Optus Stadium that promises plenty of pace and bounce for the fast bowlers will have both captains just a little hesitant to bat first should the coin fall in their favour.

On the flip side, forecast temperatures in the high-30s would make it a tough call to bowl first.

It’s why Paine admits losing the toss wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

“Yeah it will be I reckon (a good toss to lose),” Paine said.

“It feels pretty firm underneath. I think it'll actually play pretty well for the first couple of days.

Tim Paine and Virat Kohli in Adelaide.

“I really don't think it'll play that badly. I've played an ODI here and a Twenty20, and both of those wickets looked really green, and played really well.

“This wicket might play really well.

“It is what it is, and whatever you’re doing you need to start really well.”

Although Australian sides have traditionally preferred to bat first, Paine’s sides have had to bat second in each of his four matches in charge, conceding a first innings lead on each occasion, and being set near-impossible fourth innings targets of 612, 462, 538 and 323.

And if Paine’s losing streak with the coin continues, maybe he can borrow a BBL innovation and toss a bat for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

It’s the one piece of bad luck that, deep down, Tim Paine is hoping continues in Perth.

Heading into his fifth Test in charge of the national side, Paine is not only yet to captain Australia to a Test victory, he hasn’t even been able to win a toss.

Paine is just the third Australian captain, and first since Richie Benaud in 1958-59, to lose his first four tosses as captain.

Only Billy Murdoch way back in the 1880s lost the toss in each of his first five Tests as captain.

Most Australian captains have followed Ian Chappell’s theory when it comes to winning the toss: nine times out of ten you bat first, and on the tenth time you think about bowling but still bat first.

But the sight of a green pitch at Optus Stadium that promises plenty of pace and bounce for the fast bowlers will have both captains just a little hesitant to bat first should the coin fall in their favour.

On the flip side, forecast temperatures in the high-30s would make it a tough call to bowl first.

It’s why Paine admits losing the toss wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

“Yeah it will be I reckon (a good toss to lose),” Paine said.

“It feels pretty firm underneath. I think it'll actually play pretty well for the first couple of days.

Tim Paine and Virat Kohli in Adelaide.

“I really don't think it'll play that badly. I've played an ODI here and a Twenty20, and both of those wickets looked really green, and played really well.

“This wicket might play really well.

“It is what it is, and whatever you’re doing you need to start really well.”

Although Australian sides have traditionally preferred to bat first, Paine’s sides have had to bat second in each of his four matches in charge, conceding a first innings lead on each occasion, and being set near-impossible fourth innings targets of 612, 462, 538 and 323.

And if Paine’s losing streak with the coin continues, maybe he can borrow a BBL innovation and toss a bat for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

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