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New Captain Tim Paine calls for toning down Aussie sledging

New Captain Tim Paine calls for toning down Aussie sledging
©REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Very seldom do you hear from an Aussie, the talks of introspection and mellowing down. However, after the ball tampering scandal that shook Australian cricket right up to the roots, new Aussie Test Captain Tim Paine has called for toning down their aggression and the manner of sledging.

Paine has also iterated that a few flayers had started discussions of altering the Aussie on-field behavior from the time when Steve Smith was still in charge.

"I think there's always a time and a place to talk to your opposition, but I think what's said and how it's said will be very different going forward. A lot of this stuff we were actually starting to speak about under Steve already. A lot of the players had their head around the fact we needed to change the way we play. Some of those conversations were already being had.

I'm really looking forward to playing that role and winning back the trust and respect of our fans and the Australian public first and foremost. That's a really exciting thing for our playing group."

South African opener Dean Elgar who starred for the Proteas in the recently concluded 4-match Test series against the Aussies also conceded that the final test played under the shadow of the sandpaper gate controversy was a very strange encounter to say the least.

"Joburg was very strange, my first encounter against Australia that I wasn't told my future. But saying that it's part of the game, they'd been through so much leading up to the game, and it was sad to see what they were going through. No side needs to go through what they experienced, and knowing the characters in that changing room, I'm sure they can bounce back.

I'd like to believe that's the way they want to play their cricket, and if that's their challenge that they have to deal with then we've got to respect what their new captain wants. I know Tim, I've played a lot of cricket against him, and I'm pretty sure he's going to try to implement those kind of phases that they need to start off a new slate," said Elgar who recently notched up a ton for Surrey.

The 33-year-old Paine added that there has been a tendency among some Australian cricketers to play on emotion rather than skill in the last couple of years.

 "Certainly, playing international cricket you've got to be as competitive as you can be. But we've got to look at different ways of doing that and more respectful ways of putting opposition teams under the pump.

Part of what we spoke about a lot is playing on skill, not emotion. I think in the last couple of years at times we've been a touch too emotional and got carried away on that side of the game. That's a small thing we can improve on," said the right-hander.

All the same, he further said that the bigger picture for Australian cricket could be way brighter than it seems right now. Ahead of a home season that would include visits by India and Sri Lanka, Paine believes that things could well turn around for them.

"I don't think it's as disastrous as it's been made out. We've had this incident which has brought everything to a head. During the Ashes there wasn't a lot said about our culture and looking back it's just a few little things we can tweak and do a little bit better as a team.

If we do that then I think the Australian public will jump back on board pretty quickly. That's one of our main aims for this coming summer," the keeper-batsman concluded.

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