Tim Paine says Australia will tone down their use of sledging

Cricket
Tim Paine and Nathan Lyon
Tim Paine and Nathan Lyon

Tim Paine says Australia will tone down their use of sledging under his leadership following the recent ball-tampering scandal.

Paine was appointed Australia Test captain in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal, which saw previous skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner stripped of their positions and handed one-year bans.

Cameron Bancroft, who attempted to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper against South Africa in Cape Town, was also handed a nine-month ban and coach Darren Lehmann stepped down following the incident.

Wicketkeeper Paine has now promised to shelve the behaviour which has led to Cricket Australia conducting a review into the culture of the side, after criticism of some of the sledging aimed at England's Jonny Bairstow during the Ashes.

Asked if sledging will remain a part of the Australian team's tactics, Paine said in quotes reported by cricket.com.au: "No, I don't think it will, not a lot.

"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 (Smith's captaincy) 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.

"We'll have a new coach going forward, we're going to have some time off where guys can take stock and think about the way they want to play.

"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."

Australia's next Test is not until October, when they face Pakistan, with a one-day series in England their next engagement.

And Paine remains confident that those wearing the Baggy Green can win back the support of the Australian public.

"I don't think it's as disastrous as it's been made out," he added. "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."

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