Australia captain Tim Paine was left with egg on his face after branding Ravichandran Ashwin a “d***head” during their third Test draw with India on Monday.
With the hosts’ chances of victory fading late on the final day in Sydney, Paine became embroiled in a heated sledging exchange with Ashwin at the SCG.
The Baggy Greens skipper and wicket keeper could be heard saying to his India counterpart: “We can’t wait to get you to the Gabba” – referring to the fourth and deciding test in Brisbane, which gets underway on Friday with the scores level at 1-1.
Ashwin then replied: “Just like we want to get you to India. It’ll be your last series.”
Paine then hit back with an expletive dig and said: “At least my team-mates like me, d***head.”
The Aussie used the same insult during a similarly barbed exchange with Viral Kohli on India’s previous tour in 2018.
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And having already dropped two catches at the time, Paine was left even more red-faced after sledging Ashwin.
In the next over he squandered another opportunity behind the wicket, dropping Vihari off Mitchell Starc and costing Australia the chance to take a series lead ahead of Friday’s all-important fourth test.
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Even when he did catch one down the leg side after tea, Ashwin successfully overturned the decision as replays showed no glove was involved.
When asked about sledging Ashwin, Paine admitted he “set a pretty poor example” and “needs to be better”.
He then added about his performance on the day: “I'm bitterly disappointed. I pride myself on my wicketkeeping.
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“It's a horrible feeling knowing that our fast bowlers and our spinner bowled their hearts out and gave everything to the team.
“I certainly feel that I let them down and I've got to wear that. But I'm a big boy and I get another chance next week.”
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