Australia Test team captain Tim Paine has clarified his comment in which he stated that Indians are good at niggling and distracting their opponents.
Paine’s statement came almost 4 months after their 1-2 Test series loss against the visitors India. There were reports that India were reluctant to travel to Brisbane for the 4th Test due to strict quarantine rules for the team in Queensland. However, neither BCCI nor any player or support staff said a word about not travelling to the Gabba.
India handed Australia their first Test defeat at Gabba in 32 years and won the series 2-1. What made the win more special was that India played the final Test without Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari. All the aforementioned players, except Kohli (who took a paternity leave) got injured by the end of the third Test in Sydney. From getting all-out on 36 in the first Test, India bounced back to seal the series in their favour.
“Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,” Tim Paine said, as quoted by news.com.au on Thursday.
“The classic example was when they said they weren’t going to the Gabba so we didn’t know where we were going. They’re very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball.”
The comments did not go well with Indian fans and some former cricketers and they slammed Paine for making an excuse for losing back-to-back two home Test series against India.
I certainly wasn’t making any excuses: Tim Paine
On Friday, the 36-year-old has clarified his comment and said that he wasn’t making excuse for the loss, adding that the part in which he called India deserving winners was left out.
Paine went on to add that Indian fans have been slamming him on social media but he has nothing but love for them and their passion for cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman took the backlash in his stride and recalled how the Team India fans “ripped him off” for dropping catches in the Test series which concluded in January this year.
“I was asked a number of things, and one of those was talking about the challenges of playing against India. One of them is the distraction they can create. There was a lot of talk that they weren’t going to Brisbane. They’re always changing gloves and bringing out physios and all that can get on your nerves. Just said that was one of the things that probably distracted me and took my eye of the ball at times,” Paine explained on the Gilly and Goss podcast.
“But also, I did say that they simply outplayed us and that they deserved to win but they left that one out. The Indian fans have been slamming me on social media. They say that I’m making excuses again but it’s all good fun,” Paine added.
“Absolutely, I think anytime an Australian captain speaks publicly is gonna to see the light of the day, there’s no doubt about that. Like I said, it was a wide-ranging interview for a long period of time. I certainly wasn’t making any excuses. I was asked about some of the challenges of the summer, and I said that was one of them for me.
“I love Indian fans. I don’t mind getting a bit of stick, particularly when you deserve. They ripped me off in the summer when I dropped those catches, that was totally fair. I love the passion…I love how much they love cricket. I like how much they interact. For some people it’s positive interaction… most of the times they are in to me, but I don’t mind that,” said Paine, praising Indian fans.