Australia skipper Tim Paine apologises for a ‘really poor game as leader’
Skipper Tim Paine has apologised for a ‘really poor game as leader’ after the behaviour of Australia’s cricketers came under the spotlight once more during the third Test against India at Sydney.
Paine, who was handed the task of restoring the team’s credibility after the Sandpapergate fiasco at Cape Town in 2018, was heard calling India’s Ravi Ashwin a ‘d***head’, after star batsman Steve Smith scraped over the batting guard of Rishabh Pant with his boot.
Paine admitted he ‘ended up looking like a fool’ because he dropped a catch soon after sledging Ashwin as India pulled off a memorable draw in the third Test in Sydney to keep the series level at 1-1.
‘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 the team,’ Paine said.
‘I’ve had a really poor game as a leader … yesterday I fell short of my expectations and our team’s standards. I’m human. I want to apologise for the mistakes I made yesterday.
‘It’s certainly not a reflection of the way I want to lead this team. We’ve set high standards over the last few months and … I’m bitterly disappointed.’
‘My mood throughout the whole Test match was a bit off. The way I spoke to the umpires was unacceptable.
‘I fell short of my own standards and expectations. I’m bitterly disappointed with that.’
Paine also insisted that there was nothing sinister in top batsman Steve Smith seemingly scratching away the batting guard of India’s Rishabh Pant during the final day. Smith was seen roughing up the crease area with his spikes.