Tim Paine: Australia well set up for the Ashes and victory in England
Australia captain believes victory in first Test over Sri Lanka highlights the progress the team are making
Australian captain Tim Paine believes his team's comprehensive win over Sri Lanka is a sign that the national side is well on its way to recovery.
The Australians beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the first Test in Brisbane on Saturday, wrapping up the victory inside three days.
The win comes as a welcome boost to the Test side, who lost a series to India in Australia for the first time earlier in the summer.
Paine pointed out that seven of the team that played Sri Lanka were 25 or under and the younger players had all made good contributions to their side's success.
Travis Head (25) top scored for Australia with 84, while Marnus Labuschagne (24) made 81.
Australia's two most successful bowlers were 25-year-old Pat Cummins and debutant Jhye Richardson, who is 22.
And he said that bodes well for the Ashes tour later this year when Australia will look to not only retain the urn but win a series on English soil for the first time in 18 years.
"Any Test team that you can beat in three days is a huge effort," he said. "For a young group it's really pleasing and will do the confidence a lot of good."
Paine said the form of Cummins and the emergence of Richardson showed that Australia's swing bowling stocks were healthy heading into the England tour in the summer.
"There's no doubt you've got to have some options to be able to adapt to different conditions," Paine said.
"We're developing depth in all our positions. There's guys all over the country that are bowling well. There are guys like (Chris) Tremain, (Dan) Worrall and (Peter) Siddle that can swing the ball to complement Hazlewood, Starc, Cummins and Richardson."
Paine said the batting depth was also developing, with former captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner set to be available for selection again at the end of March after completing their one-year suspensions for the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
"The way Heady batted and Marnus - we've got (Matt) Renshaw and (Will) Pucovski on the scene as well.
"We're really developing a depth of talent in all of our areas. We're building quite nicely to having a really well-rounded squad of 15 or 16 players in the next 12 months. It's a really good place to be."
The second Test in the two-match series begins in Canberra on Friday.
Updated: January 26, 2019 04:18 PM