Australia captain Tim Paine has hit back at suggestions from England fast bowler Jofra Archer that the tourists “panicked” during their extraordinary loss to England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Paine’s team were on course for a victory that would have seen Australia retain the Ashes at 2-0 up with two to play only for Ben Stokes’s stunning 135 not out and an improbable last-wicket stand with Jack Leach to see England to a dramatic win.
Paine faced criticism for the way he led his side in the field during the closing stages of the match and the wicketkeeper has since accepted he made mistakes with his field placings.
But speaking to reporters on Tuesday – the eve of the fourth Test at Old Trafford – Paine insisted Australia had not lost their nerve at Leeds and bristled at talk they had “choked”.
“No. Jofra is entitled to his opinion – he’s had plenty of those that’s for sure – but as I said, we made some mistakes,” Paine said. “It happens. We have addressed it as a team.
“I was certainly one of those people who made mistakes. We move on and we are here ready for another great Test match,” added Paine, who worked with former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy during training on Tuesday.
“I would do some things differently with my field placings. As I said, the mistakes have been made. We have learnt from it.”