Australian skipper Tim Paine on Tuesday (January 12) regretted sledging India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin during the fifth day’s play at the SCG and also apologised for his on-field conduct in the third Test.
Paine has come under the scanner for using an abusive word during the verbal duel with Ashwin while he coped a lot of flak as well for showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during the drawn Sydney Test.
See Also: ‘It was unbefitting of a captain’, Gavaskar slams Paine for his dirty sledging in 3rd Test
“I spoke to him (Ashwin) really quickly after the game yesterday, as I said to him, look I ended up looking a fool, didn’t I? You open your mouth and then you drop a catch and had a bit of laugh about that,” Paine said at a virtual press conference, as quoted by PTI.
“…I do want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday on someone who prides himself on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that,” he added.
Tim Paine also dropped three catches behind the stumps on the last day when Australia were in desperate need of wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Australian captain admitted that it was the pressure of the game that got to him.
“My leadership wasn’t good enough, I let the pressure of the game, I suppose get to me and it sort of affected my mood and then from there affected my performance,” Paine stated.
“So, yesterday when I came off the ground, my reflection was purely on my wicket-keeping…I think I said to my players, I had a really poor game as a leader, not so much as a captain, but certainly as a leader.
“…yesterday I fell short of my expectations and our team’s standard,” he continued.
Paine concluded by saying that his behaviour on the final day of Sydney Test wasn’t a reflection of the way he wants to lead the Australian team.
“So, I want to apologise for the mistakes that I have made yesterday. Certainly, as I said, not a reflection of the way I want to lead this team.
“We have set really high standards over the last 18 months and yesterday was certainly a bit of blip on the radar and something I felt I needed to come out and address,” he remarked.
Coming to the match, Team India batted out 131 overs in the second innings to pull off a famous draw in the third Test.
While chasing 407 in the fourth innings, India had 8 wickets in hand when they came out to bat on Day 5. Despite losing skipper Ajinkya Rahane early, the visitors continued their fight as the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara (77 off 205 balls) Rishabh Pant (97 off 118 balls) shared a 148-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Although India lost both of them in the second session, Hanuma Vihari (23* off 161 balls) and Ashwin (39* off 128 balls) showed immense grit and determination to deny Australia a likely victory. The pair was battling injuries but still lasted 258 balls before both sides decided to shake hands.
(With PTI inputs)