‘Wolf pack’ can only add more bite, warns Paine


Their re-emergence prompted former pace ace Brett Lee to dub them the “wolf pack” while commentating on Fox Cricket.

Loading

James Pattinson and Michael Neser have been named in a 13-man squad for the Black Caps series but Neser is only in as cover. Pattinson faces a significant fight to shoehorn his way into the XI, particularly as Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood have more than a week to recover from delivering victory in Adelaide after the tourists were forced to follow on.

The Australians left Adelaide for their home ports on Tuesday and will regroup in Perth on Saturday.

The Black Caps are ranked No. 2 on the International Cricket Council’s rankings and boast a strong batting line-up led by skipper Kane Williamson, who averages 55.1 in five Tests in Australia and would receive far more plaudits had he represented a more prominent cricketing nation.

Paine was delighted with how his attack had handled a potentially dangerous Pakistani outfit.

“I think we’ve got a very skillful attack. We’ve got an attack with good pace, we’ve got a great spinner but at the same time when you have players that good bowling and just giving you nothing and building pressure, at some stage you’re going to break teams open,” Paine said.

I think our attack, as good as they are, is still getting better.

Tim Paine

“At the moment, we’re finding ways to hold the scoreboard for long periods of time and when we take wickets we tend to take them quickly because of the quality bowling we’ve got.

“They’ve been awesome for a while now. I thought they were really good at the Ashes as well. I think our attack, as good as they are, is still getting better.”

Nathan Lyon, with a match-winning performance in Adelaide, has regained his groove with the ball, having tinkered with his run-up. The veteran off-spinner was able to extract over-spin and turn and varied his lines.

He could have a spinning partner come the third Test at the SCG but selection chairman Trevor Hohns said “it is a bit of an issue” that there are no standout options in the Sheffield Shield.

Loading

Queensland leg-spinner Mitch Swepson has 10 wickets in three Shield matches, Victorian left-arm spinner Jon Holland has eight wickets in four matches, while West Australian finger spinner Ashton Agar has only three wickets in four matches.

“We are really focusing on our spin-bowling department at the moment but we will be putting a couple of spinners on notice to make sure they are doing extra work in case they are required,” Hohns said.

As the Black Caps turn their attention to the Trans-Tasman Trophy, they fear they will be without spearhead Trent Boult, at least for the series opener.

Boult has a right side strain and missed the second Test against England this week. He has 255 Test wickets at 27.64 and a healthy record in Australia, claiming 17 wickets at 33.47 in four Tests. This includes seven wickets in the inaugural pink-ball Test in Adelaide four years ago.

His potential absence means the tourists will rely upon veteran quick Neil Wagner, who has claimed five wickets in an innings in each of his past four Tests. His latest haul was this week against England in Hamilton.

Wagner has played one Test against Australia, that coming in a seven-wicket loss in Christchurch almost four years ago when he claimed seven wickets for the match. He has a skiddy bouncer that former West Indies coach Stuart Law can be “off-putting”.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Sports

Related posts

Make a comment