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Stokes threat keeps Aussie skipper Paine awake at night

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 00:52s - Published
Stokes threat keeps Aussie skipper Paine awake at night

Stokes threat keeps Aussie skipper Paine awake at night

Australia captain Tim Paine admits Ben Stokes' match-winning performance in the third Ashes test has given him some sleepless nights.

SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 3, 2019) (BBC - NO USE UK) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN, TIM PAINE, SAYING: "Nah, I haven't lost a hell of a lot of sleep over thinking about my captaincy.

But I have lost a bit of sleep in thinking about how we're going to get him (England all-rounder, Ben Stokes) out, that's for sure.

He's a class player, and he's really confident at the moment.

He's going well.

Like I said, we've got some plans for him - but we've just got to execute them a little bit better.

And as I said post test match, I thought Nathan Lyon actually bowled really well to him.

He's created a number of chances each time he's bowled to him, if we're honest.

Yes, we think as a fast-bowling group we can tweak things a little bit to him.

But the other side of it is, we hold our chances when Nathan is bowling to him and if we can do that then as I say, I think he can open the game up for us through that middle order.

The last two tests in particular, we've let Nathan down a bit with our fielding." STORY: It is nine days since Ben Stokes hit a remarkable 135 not out to win the third test of the Ashes series at Headingley, and as he prepares for the next instalment, Australia captain Tim Paine said thoughts of how to outwit the England batsman keep him awake at night.

England were nine wickets down with 73 runs required before Stokes' swashbuckling innings almost single-handedly kept England in the series and denied Australia a win that would have ensured the tourists retained the Ashes.

Questions have been asked of Paine's decisions in the decisive final hours of that test.

But asked whether he fears Stokes' feat may hang over his captaincy in the way that all-rounders Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff impacted previous Aussie skippers, Paine said his concern was more basic.

"Nah, I haven't lost a hell of a lot of sleep thinking about my captaincy.

But I have lost a bit of sleep thinking how we're going to get him out, that's for sure," he told reporters at Old Trafford on Tuesday (September 3).

"He's a class player, and he's really confident at the moment.

He's going well.

Like I said, we've got some plans for him - but we've just got to execute them a bit better," he said.

Paine believed spinner Nathan Lyon has troubled Stokes at various times, but he has urged his fielders to provide better support than they did at Headingley.

The series is tied at 1-1 after England claimed a tense one-wicket win at Headingley courtesy of a brilliant unbeaten century by Stokes on the final day.




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