Paine wants to 'pick & stick' with top three all summer
Babar Azam (right) of Pakistan in action during day four of the first Test Match between Australia and Pakistan at the Gabba in Brisbane

Australia captain Tim Paine wants to stick with the same top three batsmen for the remainder of the Test summer after his side’s big win over Pakistan at the Gabba concluded on Sunday.

The Aussies crushed Pakistan by an innings and five runs, scoring 580 in their only innings of the game, with centuries to David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, while opener Joe Burns made 97.

Australia had relied upon Steve Smith during the 2019 Ashes but he was dismissed for only 4, showing there was some new-found depth.

“I think we’ve known Burnsy is a quality opening batter for a long time,” Paine said.

“It’s great to have him back in the side. He’s got a great combination happening with Davey (Warner).

“It’s pretty exciting to have a No.3 who is playing as well as he (Labuschagne) is at this age.

“We’re really happy with the top three in this game. One innings doesn’t make a summer but we’re really happy with the positive signs we saw.

“Every time you pick you want to be able to stick. It’s been hard to have stability because we haven’t been performing as well as we would have liked. We started to in England a little bit.”

Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft were both trialled as openers in England, while Usman Khawaja batted at first drop.

“England is a tough place to bat so there is always going to be a little bit of up and down with your results over there as a batting group,” Paine added.

“But I think we’ve nutted out a pretty good group at the moment, a group that can still get a lot better.”

The second Test begins in Adelaide on Friday, with Australia likely to go with the same XI, while Pakistan may make changes.

Paine admitted the absence of Mohammed Abbas surprised him in Brisbane, while Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali acknowledged they’d consider their options, with Haris Sohail and Iftikhar Ahmed struggling in the first Test.

“We’ll re-think,” Azhar said. “We’ll have a few days and make sure we have a very strong side for the last Test match.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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