Former Test players condemned Australia skipper Tim Paine for sledging India’s Ravichandran Ashwin from behind the stumps as the tourists hung on for a draw in Sydney on Monday.
Stump microphones picked up the attempt by Paine to unsettle Ashwin who replied with barbs of his own and then with important runs on the fifth and final day of the third Test.
The match ended in a draw and the four-Test series is tied at 1-1 with the final game at the Gabba in Brisbane starting Friday
“We can’t wait to get you to the Gabba,” Paine started.
Ashwin replied: “Just like we want to get you to India. It’ll be your last series.”
Paine then said: “at least my team-mates like me” and added an expletive.
Ashwin stepped away from the crease for a second, but then continued with his innings as he batted more than two hours to finish not out on 39 as India salvaged a draw.
“Can’t wait to get you to the Gabba”
“Can’t wait to get you to India, it will be your last series”
Tim Paine had plenty to say to Ravi Ashwin behind the sticks, but the Indian batsman wasn’t fazed ????
He even watched the Aussie keeper shell one the next over ???? pic.twitter.com/pmUNhMVDIe
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) January 11, 2021
Former England captain Michael Vaughan called Paine’s conduct on the field as “very very poor”.
“Let’s be honest the captain of Australia since sandpaper gate has led this team with great distinction, attitude & never once has he crossed the line of negativity in my eyes,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
“…but today his language behind the stumps & sledging today was back to the old days !! Very very poor !!”
Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey said he “didn’t like it” but added “it (the verbal volleys) didn’t overstep the mark”.
Ashwin stood firm with Hanuma Vihari as the duo took India to safety at close of play with their 62-run stand in 269 balls. India finished on 334-5 chasing a daunting target of 407.
India captain Ajinkya Rahane said he was not too concerned with the chatting in the middle “as long as it stays on the field”.
In another bit of controversy, videos suggested that Steve Smith scuffed up the batsman’s guard at the crease.
A view of the stump camera showed Smith shadow batting and then apparently rubbing off the pitch marks – made by the batsmen to judge where they stand – with his boots.
But it was not clear whether Smith’s act was intentional.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant then took fresh guard as he went on to hit an attacking 97.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag said the Aussies tried “all tricks” but to no avail.
Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant’s batting guard marks from the crease. Par kuch kaam na aaya. Khaaya peeya kuch nahi, glass toda barana.
But I am so so proud of the effort of the Indian team today. Seena chonda ho gaya yaar. pic.twitter.com/IfttxRXHeM
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2021
Meanwhile, India’s Ravindra Jadeja on Monday added to a growing list of injuries for the tourists after being ruled out of the fourth Test in Australia with a dislocated thumb.
Jadeja was hit on the thumb by a bouncer from Australia paceman Mitchell Starc while batting in his team’s first innings in Sydney. The third match ended in a draw with the series tied at 1-1.
“Ravindra Jadeja suffered a blow to his left thumb while batting on Day 3 of the third Border-Gavaskar Test that concluded on Monday,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement.
“He later went for scans and the results have shown that he has dislocated his thumb.”
Jadeja, who scored a fighting 28 and did not need to bat in the second innings, will consult a hand specialist in Sydney before heading back to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
Jadeja’s exit is a fresh blow for India in the four-Test series that will conclude with a game in Brisbane starting January 15.
The tourists have already lost fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma to injuries while batsman KL Rahul was out ahead of third game with a sprained left wrist.