Adelaide, Dec 10 (PTI) Australian skipper Tim Paine found the 31-run defeat to India "hard to take" but said they will take inspiration from their fighting fifth-day effort in the opening Test and head to Perth with "real belief".
Chasing 323, Australia were bowled out for 291 runs in the second innings with R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami sharing nine wickets for a 1-0 lad in the four-match series.
"It won't be any more difficult than this is. Every Test match is a huge challenge and we've expected this series to be an absolute arm-wrestle from the get go," Paine said at the post-match press conference.
"If you want to be a good team you have got to be hard to beat and today we were hard to beat, we made India work really hard, I think we made them work harder than they thought they were going to have to work.
"We have picked the same team for the first two Tests and we are going there (Perth) with real belief."
Australia batted more overs than India in this Test, yet ended up on the losing side. Paine said this was an area of improvement for the series ahead.
"Sitting back now it is a huge opportunity because we didn't cash in in the first innings and didn't have batters out there today when they were tiring. Had we taken either of those chances, we would have won this Test match, so it's pretty hard to take.
It's a really key element for us, to get lots of overs into them and I am sure India are thinking the same with us. They want to see our fast bowlers bowl a hell of a lot of overs."
Paine underlined that they need to get more runs from the top-order going ahead.
"The batting conditions in first innings were not easy. It was hard to score. India bowled superbly throughout, built a lot of pressure on us and we couldn't quite get through those tough periods," Paine said at the post-match press conference.
"There were a number of reasons why we lost. I thought we could have cleaned them up on day one for 200-210 and we let that slip a little bit."
Australia were bowled out for 235 in their first innings, in reply to India's 250.
"Clearly we would like to score more than 230 in the first innings in Australia and there were other things along the way. We need to tighten up."
Paine was full of praise for the Australian bowling attack, talking up Nathan Lyon who picked eight wickets in the Test.
"You can't question those four guys' commitment they have a red-hot crack every ball. They are some of our more experienced players and the more they do that it is going to rub off on the rest.
"For majority of the Test, Starcy actually bowled really well. I saw a bit of stuff last night that people were pretty critical of him. But I think his economy rate for a lot of the Test was really good."
Talking about the lower order's batting contributions, which almost proved to be the difference between victory and defeat, in both innings, he added, "The lower order gets to face the bowlers when they are a little bit more tired traditionally and that makes a difference.
"If we can get through tougher conditions at the start we want our top six batting. This Test we haven't been able to get a set batter right through or a number of batters right through."
Australia delayed India's march to victory owing to their lower order's resistance.
"I don't think many people thought we'd get as close as we did today. They didn't think we'd win but we have a lot of faith particularly in our lower order. We bat pretty deep and Nathan Lyon is getting better all the time.
"It showed our group that anything is possible if you are prepared to stick it out and face a lot of balls it can change quickly but we couldn't quite get there."
The skipper backed Shaun Marsh after his fighting half-century in the second innings.
"We all know how good he is. He just keeps coming back and turning up, battling as hard as he possibly can and that can be really hard to do when you are always under the pump.
"It just shows how strong a character he is and how good a player he is. He's been in great form the last month or so and I think he is really close to cracking a really big score and winning us some games." PTI CN AH AH