Time Paine and his men might have endured a frustrating day on the field in the Boxing Day Test against India on Thursday but the Australia skipper did manage to have some fun in the middle with some cheeky banter.
The hosts were put through the grind by India’s batsmen on day two of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the visitors declared their first innings at 443-7.
The Aussies were made to toil in the field for almost 170 overs over the course of two day with Cheteshwar Pujara’s second century of the series the highlight of the second day.
With wickets hard to come by for the hosts’ bowlers under the high heat and humidity of the Australian summer, Paine did his utmost best to induce a lapse in concentration in the Indian batsmen.
When Rohit Sharma was batting in the middle against Nathan Lyon, the Australian wicketkeeper made a cheeky reference to the batsman’s IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in a bid to make him shed his restraint approach at the crease.
“It’s been a toss up for me between (Rajasthan) Royals and (Mumbai) Indians, and if Rohit hits a six here, I am changing to Mumbai,” Paine said from behind the stumps much to Usman Khawaja’s bemusement in the slip cordon.
The Indian batsman did not succumb to the temptation ultimately but full marks to Paine for the effort. The Aussie captain could not resist getting in a dig at arch-rivals England too as he continued the on-field banter.
“Too many Poms at the Royals,” Paine said in reference to Rajasthan Royals’ huge English contingent comprising of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
On a day where attritional cricket from India once again ruled the roost, Paine’s witty banter might just have been the high point for Australia.