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Australia’s captain Tim Paine is adamant that the emotion of England’s win at Headingley, where his side conceded a record lead against England, will not interfere with the tourist’s preparation for the fourth Test.
"If we get caught up in the emotion of it all and get too down on things the series can be taken away from you really quickly," said Paine, with a smile.
Chippy, chirpy, and chatting back to the press, he pursed his lips and continued, trying to hide his disappointment that Australia had just conceded such a rare opportunity to retain the Ashes, and from such a dominant position. "The facts are we've been in a position to win every Test match that we've played in so far. We're doing something right, we have to keep believing in that, keep applying ourselves to that at training.
"We think we've got some pretty good plans. If we can continue to execute on skill and not get caught up on emotion we think the next two Tests will be the same. We'll be in a position to win them if we continue to do what we do. Then it comes down to taking your opportunities. Today, we missed a few and a guy played out of his skin to take a Test match away. That can happen, that's okay."
With two runs left for England to win, Ben Stokes, that "guy", unbeaten on 131, turned back Jack Leach who was charging down for a single. Australia’s spinner, Nathan Lyon, fumbled a clear run-out opportunity that would have won the match.
"[Lyon] is obviously extremely disappointed, but no one’s perfect, people make mistakes and that happens," insisted Paine. "The important thing is that when it happens you cop it on the chin, you hold your head up and you stick together as a team and you walk off together."
"We’ve got two more Test matches, we’ve been doing a lot right, instead of being caught up in the emotion of it we need to be able to deal with it. Talk about where we went wrong, where we can do things better and turn up to Manchester full of confidence. Yes, those losses hurt and you are allowed to show that, but I don’t think you can get caught up in it, it’s right in the middle of a series."
The next ball, Lyon trapped Stokes plumb in front. The appeal was turned down and Australia had no reviews left. It was cruel couple of deliveries for the off-spinner, who will have to regroup and reset before the fourth Test at Old Trafford next month.
"It is just about getting [Lyon] up," continued Paine. "He’s a really important player in our side and I said to him that if our players see him dealing with it really quickly and moving on, then our younger players are going to do the same thing. And we turn up to Manchester, or our next training session, in a much better frame of mind. Rather than have guys sulking, or whatever, you want to just call it. It hurts, deal with it, move on."
"We don’t talk about emotion, you have got to stick to the facts," reiterated the Australian captain. "If you let things drag on and you get caught up in the emotion it is just wasted energy, we are here to play on skill not emotion. We need to put our thoughts into doing the great things we have been doing."
"I am pretty positive, I honestly think we are playing some really, really good cricket. We need to address some areas and we are not going to paper over the cracks and not talk about it. We will have some honest conversations about where we think we can get better but we’ve got to keep focusing on the process we have got in place.”