TIM PAINE BELIEVES THE CRICKET CULTURE ONLY NEEDS A FEW TWEAKS

NEW Test captain Tim Paine says the much-maligned culture of the Australian cricket team needs just a few tweaks to regain the trust of the public.  Paine, who was thrust into the captaincy after the ball-tampering saga during the recent South Africa series, maintains the team’s culture is not as bad as some claimed in the fallout from the scandal.  Former Test opener Rick McCosker has been appointed by Cricket Australia to head a panel that will review that culture but Paine does not believe major change is needed.  “Obviously we’ve had this incident which has brought everything to a head,” Paine said in Hobart on Thursday.  “But during the Ashes there wasn’t a lot said about our culture. “Looking back it’s just a few little things that we can tweak and do a little bit better as a team.  “If we do that I think the Australia public will jump back on board pretty quickly.”

One thing he promised would change would be the extent of sledging.  Paine, who implemented a pre-game handshake between teams when he took over for the final South Africa Test, promised one thing that would change was the extent of sledging.  “In the last couple of years at times as a team we’ve probably been a touch too emotional and got carried away,” the 33-year-old said.  “There’s always a time and a place to talk to your opposition.  “But what’s said and how it’s said will be very different going forward.” 

Paine revealed sacked skipper Steve Smith had already spoken about changing some things well before he copped his ban for bringing the game into disrepute over the ball tampering incident, along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.  “We had these discussions a few months ago and Steve was keen to start playing a different style,” he said.  “For me it’s about carrying that on.”

A wideranging Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday will discuss the process of appointing a head coach to fill the position left vacant by Darren Lehmann who resigned following the disastrous tour.  Justin Langer is considered the heavy favourite for the job.  “We’ve got a number of people who can step up and do the role,” Paine said.  “Justin’s one of those guys who I know would be absolutely brilliant.”