Captain Tim Paine has defended the culture of the Australian team, amid criticism that his behavior and that of his players were “very poor” and “embarrassing” on the last day of the third Test.
These criticisms came from the great Englishmen Michael Vaughan and Darren Gough, the latter also accusing former skipper Steve Smith of “cheating” by scuffing areas of the SCG field.
Paine, previously fined for swearing against referee Paul Wilson in the match, made a frustrated figure on day five vs India at SCG.
He was involved in a passionate exchange with Ravi Ashwin, in which he called the Indian star a “dickhead”; although he was seen patting Ashwin on the back and sharing a laugh after the game. Teammates Matthew Wade and Marnus Labuschagne were also extremely vocal around the bat as the game headed into a tense draw.
Meanwhile, Smith was caught apparently scuffing Rishabh Pant’s batting guard as the goalkeeper grazed the Australian attack. Gough also accused him of further scratching the bowlers’ foot marks to help the spinners.
Paine, credited with a major overhaul in Australia’s on-pitch behavior following the ball tampering scandal that arose under Smith’s captain, said his team “are not perfect”.
“Sometimes when the stump mics are on, unfortunately that’s going to happen, that’s part of it,” he said.
“We’re doing our best but we’re not perfect. Sometimes if the worst thing we’ve done is drop the weird F-bomb, then I think we’re fine.”
Paine said he was self-disappointed for his language towards Wilson, who he asked for “f — ing consistency” after a verdict from the DRS.
“Unfortunately, I probably set a really bad example with my use of language. I was certainly disappointed in myself after hearing this,” Paine said.
Vaughan went further by saying that Paine’s behavior on the fifth day was poor.
Meanwhile, Gough lashed out on Paine and Smith.
“That’s when it happens with Australia: when they feel pressured, they go there. They go there like nothing else, like no other team in the world. It’s just gone a little too far “, Gough told TalkSport.
“First of all you have Steve Smith, who showed us all of that tears and that heartbreak just a few years ago when he was done using sandpaper on the ball; he was the captain in it. was responsible, because he was the team leader.
“Well now, during a break in the game, between the overs, he goes and dances around to scratch the field and rub the mark with his spikes, the batter’s marker. So that was totally irrelevant.
“People say he didn’t do anything wrong – well he did. He went out on the pitch and tried to make it worse for the spinners to play a length and then he clears them. markers the drummer put where he puts his bat (takes care) So that’s just cheating, in my book.
“And then the second, just to top it off because they’re under pressure, Tim Paine – the captain, again, by the way – had already dropped a take, he decided to get stuck in Ashwin. What he didn’t do expect Ashwin to return. “
Gough mocked Paine’s attempt to scare Ashwin by warning him that a Gabba test match was looming.
“Ashwin responded and said, ‘Wait’ until we bring you back to India, my old friend – that will be your last test match as well, as captain, because you will have . And he (Paine) didn’t like it, so that’s where the abuse started; he called it a head of something … and a lot of other stuff. “Nobody likes you on your team, I have more Indian friends than you have,” and it went on and on, ”said Gough.
“Australia is supposed to have it all in order with this captain, Tim Paine, they are supposed to have it sorted out. Give him a knight, basically, because of what he did to this Australian team, the makes it grow.
“Well, they’re just falling back into that area. You have to keep an eye on that. Australia, come together and come together now, because it’s embarrassing.”
Paine and Ashwin engage in a heated word war
Veteran English cricket writer Paul Newman also gave it to Paine, calling it “massive disappointment”, “classless” and “not so good”.
The great Indians weren’t impressed either. Iconic drummer Sunil Gavaskar said Paine is setting a bad example.
“I condemn him. I have played against tough Australian teams but there was nothing of that nonsense we see from the Australian captain,” said Gavaskar.
“For a captain, that’s certainly not right. Young people watching, young people listening to it will think this is the way to go… it’s not the way to go.”
Former Indian test player Aakash Chopra said Paine fell short of his reputation.
“Paine, if you don’t stop talking… the drummer isn’t going to hit. Simple. Let your gloves do the talking,” Chopra wrote on Twitter.
“You are considered the good boy in Australian cricket… living up to his reputation. At least.
“Let your gloves do the talking. Period.”