Australia were one of the favourites to reach the WTC final, but they were penalised four points for a sluggish overrate against India on Boxing Day. It severely harmed their hopes, and the abandonment of the series against South Africa ended in India and New Zealand facing off in the Southampton final.

Tim Paine, Australia’s red-ball captain, has said that missing out on the World Test Championship final was a “hard pill to chew,” and has urged match officials to be more consistent in issuing point penalties for slow over rates.

“Bitterly disappointed that we weren’t there (WTC final) because of over rates. We’ve always got things in place to try to help out with that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. Unfortunately, we’re the team that I think has borne the brunt of it for an over-rate,” Paine told reporters.

When it came to awarding point penalties, Paine advocated for more consistency. “In the previous two years, there’s been a lot of Test match cricket where teams haven’t bowled their overs, and I’m not sure how many teams have lost points as a result.” Given the size of the prize and the fact that a couple of overs might cost you four points, I believe there should be a little more consistency around it.”

According to the wicketkeeper-batsman, Australia was the only team penalised points for an over-rate infraction. “We were behind on our overs, and that’s exactly what happened. It’s just a matter of consistency for me. I haven’t played on many days where the complete overs have been bowled, and there haven’t been any that I’m aware of.”