LEEDS: Australia captain Tim Paine said he would be putting someone else in charge of the team´s reviews following his side´s extraordinary one-wicket defeat by England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Paine´s men were on the brink of retaining the Ashes only for Ben Stokes´s remarkable 135 not out to see England home to a victory target of 359 that was still 73 runs in the distance when the all-rounder was joined in the middle by No 11 Jack Leach.
For all Stokes´ remarkable hitting in an innings featuring 11 fours and eight sixes, Australia missed chances to secure a win that would have seen them keep hold of the Ashes at 2-0 up with two to play.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, on the receiving end of some of Stokes´s biggest hits, made a mess of a run out chance when the bowler failed to gather a throw with England still needing two to win.
The very next ball saw Lyon bellow a huge appeal for lbw against Stokes.
But the England vice-captain was given not out and Australia couldn´t challenge that verdict as they had used up all their reviews.
Their misery was compounded when replays revealed that Stokes would have been given out.
Given he is Australia´s wicketkeeper as well as their captain, Paine ought to be the best placed person in the field to decide when his team uses DRS.
But after a stunning finale at Headingley, Paine admitted: “I´ve got every review wrong so far, so I´m going to give up and give it to someone else.
“It was just spur of the moment… have a dabble at it. But, yeah, I got it wrong.”
´Can´t bag the umpires´
Paine, however, refused to criticise Joel Wilson´s original not out decision, even if he disagreed with the West Indian umpire´s verdict.
“I saw it live. I thought it was out. I don´t need to see it again,” Paine said.
“I have no issue with it, I don´t think I´ve got a referral correct the whole series so I can´t sit here and bag the umpires.
“To sit down and single out an umpire is unnecessary, he is no different to everyone else, he is allowed to make mistakes.”
England´s victory was all the more remarkable given they had been bowled out for just 67 — their lowest Ashes total for 71 years — in the first innings.
“I thought it was an amazing game of cricket, Ben Stokes was unbelievably good… it was one of the great Test innings,” said Paine.
“We finished up on the wrong side of it but in terms of an advertisement for Test cricket, I think that was bloody exciting.
“It was a bit of individual brilliance today from a world-class player. Stokes was playing out of his skin and he managed to do things that you normally wouldn´t see.
“I didn´t love it today but I love watching him play for that reason.”
England´s outlandish success invited comparisons with their 2-1 Ashes triumph of 2005 when their come-from-behind series win was kickstarted by a nailbiting two-run win at Edgbaston.
Paine acknowledged the similarities by saying: “In five or six years when we´re ex-players or maybe sooner, we´ll look back and know we´ve played in an amazing Test series.
“You look to a lot of Ashes series, 2005 springs to mind, and every time you turn on Fox Cricket, Channel Seven, there´s highlights of that because of the unbelievable cricket… not because who won or lost.
“There were awesome players playing, unbelievable innings, unbelievable spells, and so far this Ashes series has been the same for both sides