Australia-South Africa handshakes a show of respect – Tim Paine


Fans at The Wanderers with signs referencing the ball-tampering scandal
Fourth Test, The Wanderers, Johannesburg (day one of five)
South Africa 313-6: Markram 152; Cummins 3-53
Australia Yet to bat
Scorecard

New Australia captain Tim Paine says his decision to introduce a team handshake with opponents South Africa was a “show of respect” by his side.

Before the first day of the fourth Test on Friday, both teams shook hands following the national anthems.

The Test is the first since the ball-tampering scandal which led to bans for ex-skipper Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

“We’ve got to be more respectful. It’s time for us to change,” Paine said.

“At times we’ve tended to push the boundaries as far as we possibly could.

“I think that we’ve seen that people probably don’t like that, so it’s time for us to change. We’re happy to do that.”

South Africa ended day one on 313-6 after 152 from opener Aiden Markram.

The Proteas were 247-2 in the 71st over with Markram and AB De Villiers at the crease, but Australia fought back with four wickets late in the day.

South Africa lead the series 2-1 and are aiming to clinch a first home series victory over Australia since 1970.

‘A good show of sportsmanship’

Both sides shook hands before play in Johannesburg

Paine, 33, said he introduced the team handshakes after discussion with South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis before the Test.

His side included Peter Handscomb in place of Smith and openers Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw in place of Warner and Bancroft.

Chadd Sayers also made his Test debut in place of Mitchell Starc, who suffered a stress fracture in his leg and will also miss the Indian Premier League campaign.

“I thought cricket is the gentlemen’s game and I spoke to our players about how it was something I wanted to bring in,” Paine said about the handshakes.

“It’s not something we are going to do every Test match but I think it is not a bad way to start a Test series.

“It’s a good show of sportsmanship and respect.”

‘The start of a long journey’

Australia made four changes for the Test

Australia have been criticised in recent days both for the the ball-tampering incident and the team’s aggressive style of cricket.

However, Paine said there “wasn’t too much verbal” between the sides on day one.

“Going forward that’s not the way we’re going to play our cricket,” Paine said.

“We’re trying to take it one day at a time, trying to build back the respect of the cricket world, our fans and the cricket public.

“We know we’ve got a really long journey to get where we want to get to. The past couple of days have been the start of that long journey.”

“I think it actually suits this group of players. We’re a different group of players than Australia have had for a long time, we haven’t got too many guys that like to verbalise and have that sort of really hard-nosed Australian approach. “



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