Paine promises to cut Australia’s sledging

Australia will tone down their sledging under new Test captain Tim Paine as the team try to repair their damaged reputation following the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa which led to three players being handed significant bans.
Paine was named the new Test captain when Steven Smith was suspended for the final Test in Johannesburg and Smith was subsequently handed a 12-month ban along with David Warner while Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month penalty.
Paine’s first proper chance to build a new-look side, both in terms of personnel and style, will come against Pakistan later this year but he is already thinking about the direction he wants to take the team. Cricket Australia have instigated a culture review following the recent events, but discussions about toning down on-field behaviour which had brought significant criticism before the Cape Town controversy had started when Smith was 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,” Paine said. “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.”
Dean Elgar, who was part of the South Africa side throughout the series, admitted it was an odd atmosphere during the final Test of the series as a flat Australia were crushed by 492 runs and he hoped that Paine would be able to put his stamp on the captaincy.
“Joburg was very strange, my first encounter against Australia that I wasn’t told my future,” Elgar said. “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.”
Another part of the fallout to the affair was Darren Lehmann stepping down as coach. Justin Langer has been tipped as favourite to take over but Cricket Australia have said the process will be started following a forthcoming board meeting.