We must improve our behaviour – Australia captain Paine
|Fourth Test, Johannesburg, day five:|
|South Africa 488 (Markram 152, Bavuma 95) & 344-6 (Du Plessis 120)|
|Australia 221 (Paine 62) & 119 (Philander 6-21)|
|South Africa won by 492 runs; win series 3-1|
Captain Tim Paine said Australia must improve their “behaviour” after they were thumped by 492 runs by South Africa in the fourth Test to lose the controversial four-match series 3-1.
Australia were without the banned Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after the ball-tampering scandal that marred the third Test.
“We have potentially had our heads in the sand over the last 12 months that if we continue to win we can act how we like and the Australian public will be OK with that,” said Paine.
“We have found out in the last month that the Australian public don’t like the way we go about it, so it is pretty simple – we have to improve our behaviour.”
Paine replaced Smith as captain following Smith’s ban.
The series win was South Africa’s first over Australia at home since 1970.
The fourth Test in Johannesburg was also Australia coach Darren Lehmann’s last in charge after he resigned following the ball-tampering scandal.
Australia made 221 in response to South Africa’s first-innings 488, which featured 152 from Aiden Markram.
Captain Faf du Plessis scored 120 in South Africa’s second-innings 344-6 declared to leave Australia needing a notional 612 to win.
Resuming on 88-3, the tourists slumped to 119 all out before lunch on the final day as Vernon Philander took a Test-best 6-21.
The seamer dismissed brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh with the first and fourth balls of the day respectively.
He then removed Paine before accounting for Pat Cummins and Chadd Sayers with successive deliveries.
The final wicket came when Nathan Lyon was run out off the bowling of Morne Morkel, who passed 300 Test wickets during the series and was playing his last match before retiring from international cricket.
“It’s tough to put it into words. I’m obviously very emotional but it’s been a great journey,” said Morkel, 33.
“I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I was given and to go out on a high – the mission was to beat the Aussies on home turf and to accomplish that is a special feeling.”
A ‘new culture’ for Australia
South Africa opener Dean Elgar described the match as the “most docile” he has played against Australia but said he was “pretty sure it’s not going to last very long”.
Paine said: “It’s an exciting time. We are going to have a new coach and a new brand and culture.
“It was evident in this match that we have changed somewhat and that will continue to happen.
“We’ve got a new coach coming in at some stage and he will have a huge say on how that is.
“We have to find the fine line between being really respectful of the opposition and also being at a level that is really competitive, as you should be in Test cricket.
“It is going to be a different style than a lot of the guys are used to, but I think we will find it pretty quickly.”