Australia captain Tim Paine has publicly apologised for his distasteful behaviour towards Ravichandran Ashwin on Day 5 of the third Test in Sydney. Stating he was out of line as he let pressure get to him, the 36-year-old said he later apologised to Ashwin and they laughed it off.
Through one of Test cricket’s most resolute and gritty rearguard actions, Ashwin (39* off 128) and Hanuma Vihari (23* off 161) put on a sixth-wicket stand worth 62 off 259 balls to help India save the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The Aussie skipper, who pleaded guilty for dropping three catches on Monday, addressed the media again today – this time to apologise for his on-field behaviour.
“I want to apologise for the way I went about things, I’m someone who prides himself on the way he leads his team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that. My leadership wasn’t good enough, I let the pressure of the game get to me", Tim paine said.
“Yesterday, I fell short of my expectations and my team’s standards. I’m human, I want to apologise for the mistakes I made yesterday...we’ve set really high standards over the last 18 months and yesterday was a bit of a blip on the radar,” Paine, who scored 1 & 39* in Sydney, added.
Notably, the 36-year-old was also fined 15% of his match fee for swearing while complaining to umpire Paul Wilson during the third Test.
“We had a bit of laugh about that” – Tim Paine on his post-match exchange with Ashwin
Tim Paine was apparently taken aback by India’s unconquered alliance, and expressed his exasperation by challenging Ravichandran Ashwin to put up a fight in Brisbane. He even called the Indian off-spinner a d***h*** - all of which was caught on the stump mic.
However, Paine revealed he went up to Ashwin after the match and they talked out whatever transpired on the field.
“I spoke to [Ashwin] quickly after the game yesterday, and I said to him, ‘Yeah, you end up looking the fool, you open your mouth and you end up dropping a catch’. We had a bit of a laugh about that...and everything was fine,” Tim Paine stated.
Australia can be perched atop the ICC World Test Championship, but the Sydney Test served as a reality check for both the team and its captain. However, Tim Paine sounded optimistic about keeping the mishaps in the past and starting afresh in Brisbane.
“I have to cop what’s coming on the chin and I’m really looking forward to moving on to Brisbane and getting back more for playing the game more like Tim Paine plays the game,” the Aussie skipper concluded.
The series is levelled 1-1, and with just about six months left for the WTC final, both sides would want to acquire full points at the Gabba and win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.