Tim Paine says he and his bowlers are on the same page. Picture: AAP
Tim Paine says he and his bowlers are on the same page. Picture: AAP

Tim Paine rejects claims of rift with bowlers

TIM Paine denies he and his bowlers were on a different page in the fourth Test against India, despite bowling coach David Saker admitting there was confusion between the captain and his attack.

Saker laid the boot into Australia's bowlers after the opening day at the SCG, before India went on to post 7-622 (dec) on Friday - the sixth highest ever score by a visiting team in Australia.

Nathan Lyon was another member of the team to publicly question whether his team's fast bowlers got it right on day one.

The Aussies struggled to get any real momentum on either of the opening two days, with India posting two century stands and one worth 204 runs. India's smallest partnership was 10 runs for the first wicket.

But Paine rejected Saker's claim, saying there was no disagreement over plans to any of the Indian batsmen and that the team had simply got it wrong at times on the opening two days.

After play he was quizzed on Fox Cricket about reports of tactical differences inside the dressing room but denied that was the case.

Tim Paine said execution, not communication, was the problem. Picture: Hamish Blair/AAP
Tim Paine said execution, not communication, was the problem. Picture: Hamish Blair/AAP

"We've been on the same page, we just haven't quite been able to execute at times," he said.

Paine doubled down on that position in his press conference.

"We always have a discussion post-game but in terms of being on a different page, no," he said.

"I think we're pretty clear on what we're trying to do.

"Yesterday afternoon - and to be fair probably the first hour in the morning then the first hour after lunch (on Friday) - we got it slightly wrong.

"It can sometimes look like that, but we know what we're trying to do. Sometimes you don't quite execute and teams can get away from you and that's what happened."

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood delivered lively new-ball spells on day one but then unsuccessfully attempted to unsettle century-maker Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal with a bouncer barrage.

"The bowlers wanted one thing. Tim wanted one thing," Saker told the ABC on Friday morning.

"That's not been the case as the general rule but when you were watching from the sideline, you could see there was some confusion."

Nathan Lyon thought his teammates got it wrong. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Nathan Lyon thought his teammates got it wrong. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Saker and head coach Justin Langer both made their disappointment clear in no uncertain terms.

"Last night we talked quite heavily about the day ... we thought it was a really disappointing day and we just wanted to get our point across," Saker said. "Some of it was quite aggressive and that's not like me usually.

"I was quite animated, and I know I was not the only one. JL wasn't happy. The bowlers know that."

Lyon also gave his teammates a clip while speaking to the same broadcaster.

"I wasn't too happy about it," Lyon said of the quicks' short-pitched approach early on day one.

"We missed out on using the moisture in the wicket. We could have stuck there longer. But the captain and the bowlers came up with a decent plan and, unfortunately, it didn't work."

News Corp Australia

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