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Paine: 'We are moving in the right direction'
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Paine: 'We are moving in the right direction'

Tim Paine feels Australia is climbing back to become one of the top sides in Test cricket after his side completed a thumping win over New Zealand in Perth on Sunday.

After having a successful run in the Ashes in England this summer, Australia have had a breathtaking run in home summer, with consecutive inning wins over Pakistan and then, one of their biggest-ever victory over New Zealand.

"We are getting there, but we can get better," Paine said.

"We are still improving, but certainly over the last 18 months there has been drastic improvement in this cricket team.

"We've got some players back, which are helping, but we have also seen some real improvement in the guys who got a chance 18 months ago, and the experienced guys have come back and put a bit of icing on top.

"We are moving in the right direction and happy with the way we've played in the last three or four Tests."

Australia were heavily reliant on Steve Smith during the Ashes with other batsmen not supporting the New South Wales batsman.

However, the Australian summer has seen plenty of batters other than Smith scoring runs which was viewed as a positive by Paine.

For the first time in his career, Smith has gone three Tests without scoring a half-century.

"We touched on at the end of the Ashes," he said.

"We needed other guys to stand up and can't be reliant on Steve.

"Obviously Marnus (Labuschagne) has been unbelievably good, and Davey (Warner) and Joe Burns have been scoring runs.

"If we want to be one of the better teams in the world guys have got to stand up and we can't be reliant on too few.

"We are really happy with how our batting has developed."