Sydney: Australian captain Tim Paine on Tuesday apologised for his on-field behaviour during the drawn third Test against India here, saying that his leadership wasn’t good enough and he ended up ”looking like a fool” by sledging Ravichandran Ashwin.
Paine has come under fire for a verbal duel with Ashwin when the Indian held vigil with an injured Hanuma Vihari to eke out a draw for his team, which was chasing a mammoth 407 for a win. Paine said he was ‘distracted, agitated and a bit grumpy at times’ during the game.
‘I spoke to him (Ashwin) really quickly after the game yesterday, as I said to him, look I ended up looking a fool, didn’t I? You open your mouth and then you drop a catch and had a bit of laugh about that,’ he said at a virtual press conference, which he wasn’t even scheduled to attend.
He said he decided to speak to the media to address some things’ after having defended his behaviour in the post-match presser on Monday.
‘…I do want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday on someone who prides himself on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that,’ Paine said.
The 36-year-old wicket-keeper dropped three catches during the match, including of Vihari after the confrontation with Ashwin. Paine conceded that it was the pressure of the game that got to him and that affected his mood.
‘My leadership wasn’t good enough, I let the pressure of the game, I suppose get to me and it sort of affected my mood and then from there affected my performance,”l he elaborated.
‘So, when I came off the ground, my reflection was purely on my wicket-keeping…I think I said to my players, I had a really poor game as a leader, not so much as a captain, but certainly as a leader.
‘…yesterday I fell short of my expectations and our team’s standard,’ he added.
According to Paine, his behaviour on Monday wasn’t a reflection of the way he wants to lead the Australian team.