R Ashwin defends a ball as Tim Paine looks on(Getty)
R Ashwin defends a ball as Tim Paine looks on(Getty)

India vs Australia: 'He's a quick-witted individual,' Hussey on Ashwin after off-spinner responded to Paine's sledge

  • India vs Australia: Michael Hussey came up with his take on the exchange, explaining that although he wasn't a fan of Paine starting the sledge, it did not cross a line.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 13, 2021 03:14 PM IST

Words were exchanged on the final day of the third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground as captain Tim Paine tried to throw batsman R Ashwin off his game when the off-spinner and Hanuma Vihari were batting against all odds. With India chasing 407 to win on the final day of the SCG Test, Australia had an opening when they dismissed set batsmen Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara after lunch to leave India at 272/5.

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Needing five wickets to win, Australia sensed a chance, but it was shut by Ashwin and Vihari, who added an unbeaten 62 off 256 balls to help India with a miraculous draw. While Ashwin was batting, Paine tried to unsettle the batsman with a few words, but the off-spinner did not hold back, coming up with equally sharp responses.

Paine stated the exchange, saying, "I can't wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash, I'll tell you what, woohoo," to which Ashwin replied, "Just like we want to get you to India. That will be your last series."

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Paine did not hold back either, and went on to add, "Maybe. Are you a selector here as well? At least my teammates like me, d***head. I’ve got a lot more Indian friends than you do. Even your teammates think you’re a goose. Don’t they? Every one of them." Ashwin did not take strike till the time Paine went on. "Tell me when you’re done," he said. "I’ll talk all day, mate. Wait until you get to the Gabba, pal," Paine said.

Former batsman Michael Hussey came up with his take on the exchange, explaining that although he wasn't a fan of Paine starting, it did not cross a line. "There was no swearing involved and there was no abuse. I think it was a tactical ploy on Tim Paine’s part to try and put Ashwin off his game, and engage at it because Ashwin had been quiet throughout the whole innings," Hussey told ESPNCricinfo.

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"I didn’t like it I must admit, but I don’t think it overstepped the mark or was nasty or abusive. Ashwin came back with a bit of banter as well. I think he’s a very quick-witted individual."

The sledging did not stop there. The Australia captain decided to drag the IPL and referred to the multiple sides Ashwin has represented in the league. “How many IPL teams wanted you when you asked every single one of them to have you?” Paine went on.

“Oh I’ll come if I’m captain. I’ve played a series in India. Yeah. Can’t remember my average, 60-something?,” Paine added in response to Ashwin's earlier remark.

The words came to haunt Paine since he dropped a catch of Vihari off Mitchell Starc shortly after, one of the many drops Australia were guilty of on the final day. Paine dropped three catches overall, two earlier of Pant, followed by substitute fielder Sean Abbott grassing an Ashwin pull early in his innings.

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