CRICKET AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND
Australia have set their sights on next season's heavyweight home series against India after finishing of their most dominant Test summers by flogging New Zealand.
The Aussies completed their perfect Test summer at the SCG on Sunday, pummelling the Black Caps by 279 runs to take the series 3-0.
It marked just the 10th time in their 143-year history they have maintained a perfect record by winning each Test through a summer.
But they know things will be much more difficult in the next year after a tour of Bangladesh in June.
India toppled them for the first time ever in Australia last summer, while the return bout also shapes as a top-of-the-table World Test Championship clash.
"We've obviously got our eye on next summer," Paine said.
"It's a pretty mouth-watering series for players and for fans (against India). It's hard not to be looking at that.
"We're certainly a different side to what they played against last year and there is more at stake with the World Test Championship and both teams eying off that (2021) final.
"It's going to be an awesome series. They showed last year they have a pace battery that is going to be every bit as threatening as ours."
Monday's finale summed up the season, as Australia's kings of the summer starred again.
David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne both scored big runs to help the team declare at 2-217 and set New Zealand an unlikely 416 for victory.
Nathan Lyon took 5-50 to make it 10 wickets for the match, while Mitchell Starc claimed 3-25 as New Zealand were dismantled for just 136.
Warner's 111 was his third century of the series, as it took his tally for the summer to 786 runs at 131.
It is the most by an opener in a five-Test Australian summer, as he cover drove as well on day four in Sydney as he did in his century to start the Test season against Pakistan in Brisbane in November.
Meanwhile man-of-the-series Labuschagne's 59 marked his seventh score above 50 in eight innings.
It came after his first-innings 215, while his 896 runs at 112 in this campaign are also the most by an Australian in a five-Test summer.
"If you win five home Tests in a row you have done a lot right," Paine said.
"It wasn't just the five wins, it was the manner in which we did it. The style of cricket we played.
"Marnus in the last 12 months has gone from a player whose selection was doubted to a top-three player in the world."
The pair's only blemish came late in the innings when they were both picked up in the same over for running down the pitch and in the danger zone.
They were penalised with five runs added to New Zealand's first innings score.
But when Starc removed Tom Blundell and Tom Latham in the first five overs and Lyon followed it up with two straight wicket maidens, it was clear it would matter little.
Such was New Zealand's struggle, only Colin de Grandhomme (52) and Ross Taylor (22) scored more than 20 as Lyon and James Pattinson both took screamers in the field.
The 3-0 defeat marked New Zealand's first series defeat since 2017 against South Africa, and saw Australia replace them as world No.2 in the latest rankings.