Mitchell Starc took his second five-wicket haul in the match to power Australia to a 366-run win in the second test against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval on Monday and a 2-0 sweep of the series. "But I work hard in the nets and I work hard on my game and I work hard on my game plans but I couldn't get what we want".
"It's something that I've certainly dreamed of as a kid, I didn't think I'd be going over as the captain, but in the back of my mind I've been thinking about it".
"Credit goes to Australia, they have played some outstanding cricket throughout the series". When a subcontinental team comes to Australia, they'll be peppered. I'm sure it will come in South Africa.
Without the experienced pair, Australia struggled.
While they were outplayed by Virat Kohli's men, they at least broke a century drought stretching back to October in Canberra, with Joe Burns, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson and Usman Khawaja all cashing in.
Their knocks put them in prime position for the Ashes against an England side reeling from an embarrassing capitulation in the West Indies.
Burns' innings and his record 308-run partnership with Head (161) on the first day put Australia in an nearly unbeatable position, which could ensure a first Test series win since the 2017/18 Ashes.
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Starc only required seven balls to make his first breakthrough of the morning, an in-swinging delivery bundling over the stumps and sending Karunaratne back to the pavilion.
Cummins, who has been ravaged by multiple injuries since he made his debut as an 18-year-old in 2011, is now Australia's best bowler on the ICC test rankings, ranked third behind Rabada and Anderson.
Paine says Starc's blazing 10-wicket haul in the second Test was a crucial breakthrough for the mentality of the Australian team.
"What we've seen over this summer is that we've now started to build a squad with plenty of depth". We shall see. Play is 51 minutes away.
For Paine, heading to England, and as skipper, is something that has been on his mind for months.
Cricket Australia said on Sunday "Sri Lankan Cricket has cleared him to play". "Sitting here now, I think we've gone a long way to doing that", he said. "But I'm not a selector, so I get asked my input but I think they would have a pretty good picture of what it would look like".
"I'm proud of the way our boys rallied around Starcy", Paine said.