Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) can make the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle a little better but he also added that one should not take anything away from New Zealand. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played unbeaten knocks off 52 and 47 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the inaugural edition of the WTC at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Wednesday. “You want to be playing in that Test – that’s why I couldn’t watch the first three or four nights of it because I was dirty that we weren’t there. It’s a showpiece event, it’s a World Cup final. Can we make it better? Yes, we probably can but we shouldn’t take anything away from New Zealand,” Paine told Newstalk ZB, as reported by stuff.co.nz.

Paine had earlier predicted India would win the WTC final “pretty comfortably” against New Zealand. The Australia skipper was quick to apologise to Kiwi fans and he highlighted how Williamson’s side has progressed over the last few months.

“We all get some wrong. I copped a bit from the Kiwi fans, so I thought I’d come on air and eat some humble pie. I thought the New Zealanders played outstandingly. It’s always a pleasure to watch the way they go about it. For such a small nation – I’m from Tasmania which is obviously our smallest resource state and we punch above our weight – so I certainly respect what the Kiwis do on an international stage,” said Paine.

“They’ve done well under Kane Williamson since they last played us… they’ve added big Kyle Jamieson, who on day five or six was outstanding, and a quality opening batter which is Devon Conway, so they’re always improving and they always seem to find these good cricketers,” he added.

A complete effort on the Reserve Day saw New Zealand edging India in a final which had its ebbs and flows in the first innings. The Kiwis made full use of the slender 32-run lead and the Williamson-led side bundled out India cheaply in the second innings to get a target of just 139. 

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The batsmen did not relent and in the end, the side walked away with a comfortable victory.

“They’ve added a big tall fast bowler who rarely misses his length, complemented by Trent Boult and Tim Southee. The height that he comes down from is clearly troubling batsmen around the world. Devon Conway has come into all formats of cricket for New Zealand and done really well. When you have a good start at the top of the order, then you’ve got Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Henry Nicholls — they just keep coming, they’re a good side and always have been,” said Paine.

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