South Africa

Australia vs India, 3rd Test – Tim Paine apologises for SCG behaviour

In the moments after India secured an unlikely draw at the SCG, Australia’s captain Tim Paine privately conceded to R Ashwin that he had made himself “look the fool” by calling the touring spin bowler a “d*******” and then following up by dropping his third catch of the day.

Fewer than 24 hours later, Paine elected to publicly apologise for poor behaviour on the field throughout the Sydney Test while also conceding that his darkening mood ultimately contributed to his team’s failure to close out victory over India as his usually supple gloves clanged vital chances offered up by Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari.

At the age of 36, nearly 18 months after he had originally pondered retirement at the end of the 2019 Ashes, Paine is well aware that in terms of both performance and behaviour he cannot afford anymore days like the final one of the SCG Test, and made that much patently clear after jumping into the media seat as a last-minute substitute for Nathan Lyon.

“International cricket at the moment with the hub life and in the bubble you have a fair bit of time to yourself and last night for me was one of those moments to sit back and reflect on the Test match. I think it was important to address some things from yesterday,” Paine said. “I want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday. I’m someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that.

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