Australian captain Tim Paine of late has been in the headlines for his uncanny sledging against India and he seems to have brought it with him even in the ongoing Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The wicket-keeper batsman after his well-publicised banters with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma this time targeted young Rishabh Pant.
Paine, who was heard in the stump microphone telling teammate Aaron Finch that he would join Mumbai Indians if Rohit Sharma smashes Nathan Lyon for a six in the first innings, this time tried to provoke Pant when the latter was batting on Day 3.
The incident occurred in the 26th over of India’s second innings after Jasprit Bumrah had dismantled the Australian batting order and in reply, Pat Cummins had wiped the Indian batting line-up for single-digit scores. India despite having a 300+ runs lead were in a spot of bother when Pant came into the crease with five wickets down.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2018
Paine surely saw this as a perfect opportunity to get under the youngster’s skin and tried to provoke him by taunting Pant with MS Dhoni’s name. The Australian skipper stated that with Dhoni back in the Indian ODI squad, Pant should try and smash few deliveries out of the park to get a Big Bash League contract.
“Tell you what big MS (Dhoni) is back in the one-day squad too. We might get him down to the (Hobert) Hurricanes this bloke, we need a batter,” Paine was caught as saying in the stump microphone.
He didn’t stop there and kept on chirping to Pant and asked him if he can “babysit”?
“Fancy that Pant, extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too… Get you a nice apartment on the waterfront. Have him over for dinner. Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids.”
But all this while Pant kept quiet and concentrated on his batting and together with debutant Mayank Agarwal remained on the crease overnight as they attempt to rescue India and set the hosts an impossible target.
Meanwhile, the Australian player’s body has raised complaints against the use of stump microphones. And it is quite understandable given how Paine kept on babbling from behind the stumps.
Pant is currently batting on six from 12 deliveries, while Agarwal is on 28 from 79 balls. India already has a lead of 346 runs and will look to add some more before asking Australia to chase down.