PERTH • Australia captain Tim Paine yesterday praised his emerging team for finding a hard-nosed identity appropriate for their reformed demeanour after a 146-run victory against India in the "bruising" second Test.
Having set the visitors a daunting 287 runs to win on the Perth Stadium pitch, Australia dismissed top-ranked India for 140 midway through the first session on the final day to level the four-match series.
After losing the series opener in Adelaide by 31 runs, the hosts held the upper hand throughout to secure Paine's first win as skipper in his fifth match at the helm.
He told reporters: "Really happy with the competitive, hard style we played. We're slowly building into our style of cricket.
"We stuck to our guns and delivered skill under pressure, and managed to keep ahead in the game."
His side's on-field behaviour was under the microscope in the aftermath of the damaging ball-tampering scandal in March and they have opted for a staid approach since.
In a tension-filled second Test, Paine heatedly clashed with counterpart Virat Kohli on several occasions, conjuring images of previous fiery contests between the teams.
But the wicketkeeper felt Australia had struck the right balance, insisting he was right to "draw a line, and stick up for yourself and teammates".
He said: "We talk about playing on skill and not emotion. We know our best cricket is played when we put emotion aside, (but) we aren't going to sit back and be walked all over."
The 34-year-old also hailed their well-rounded performance, which started with a 112-run opening stand between Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch on the opening morning, laying the platform for a first innings total of 326 - the highest of a low-scoring match.
"As a group, we're relieved, it's been hard work. It's been a bruising test match," Paine added.
"To get a win like that against the No. 1 Test team is going to give us a huge boost of confidence."
The series now shifts to the traditional Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground followed by the finale in Sydney on Jan 3.