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"His days as captain are numbered" - Sunil Gavaskar says Tim Paine should be removed as Australia's Test skipper

Tim Paine in action during Day 5 of the SCG Test
Tim Paine in action during Day 5 of the SCG Test
ANALYST
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 22:41 IST
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Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar was furious with Australia's Test captain Tim Paine for his sledging of Indian batsmen on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The 71-year-old believes Australia had a golden opportunity to take a 2-1 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by bowling out the visitors on the final day. However, Team India showed incredible resilience, and despite their injury woes, batted out 131 overs to save the SCG Test.

Sunil Gavaskar felt Tim Paine's field placements and bowling changes could have been much better. Instead, the 36-year-old was focusing more on disturbing the concentration of the Indian batsmen, especially Ravichandran Ashwin, through his sledging.

Speaking to India Today, Gavaskar explained why he would not be surprised if Tim Paine is axed from Australian captaincy after the end of the ongoing series.

"I don't know; I am not an Australian selector, but his (Tim Paine's) days as captain are numbered. If you allow the Indian team to bat 130 odd overs without getting wickets, this is a very good Australian attack. The bowling changes, the field placements, everything could have made a difference to the result," Sunil Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar continued in this regard:

"But Tim Paine was more interested in talking to the batsman rather than his field placing and bowling changes. So I won't be surprised if there is a change in the Australian captaincy after the series is over."

Tim Paine's dropped catches allowed India to escape with a draw

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Tim Paine dropped Hanuma Vihari late on Day 5.
Tim Paine dropped Hanuma Vihari late on Day 5.

Apart from Tim Paine's uninspired captaincy, Sunil Gavaskar also questioned the 36-year-old's wicketkeeping ability. Considered as the best wicketkeeper in Australia, Tim Paine dropped three catches on Day 5.

Two of them were regulation chances of Rishabh Pant off Nathan Lyon's bowling. The southpaw scored a blistering 97 to put Australia under pressure and raise hopes of an unlikely Indian win, which was eventually not to be.

With a little less than ten overs remaining in the Test, Tim Paine dropped his third catch, this time the batsman being Hanuma Vihari. Sunil Gavaskar believes the Australian skipper should have let the ball go, as it was heading straight into the hands of first slip.

"If you drop simple catches, Rishabh Pant got two edges, they were not difficult catches, the last one which he missed off Vihari was also one he could have left for first slip," Sunil Gavaskar said.
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Sunil Gavaskar believes Tim Paine's unnecessary jibes at the Indian batsmen suggested that he was frustrated and running out of ideas. The 36-year-old couldn't keep calm in crunch situations, and that helped India escape with a draw despite having their backs against the wall.

"It was unbefitting of a captain of a national team to be talking about something other than cricket. When you talk about something else, it shows your frustration. It shows you are not able to bear the fact that the opposition is putting up a fight," Sunil Gavaskar said.

Tim Paine's verbal duels with Ashwin on Day 5 was an indication that the Australian tactics didn't work on Day 5 of the SCG Test.

It remains to be seen how the hosts respond in what will now be the series decider in Brisbane. The fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy begins on January 15 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Published 11 Jan 2021, 19:41 IST
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