Australia captain Tim Paine, after months opened up on Australia’s Test series loss against India. He has said his side “took their eye off the ball” against India and allowed themselves to be distracted by India’s “sideshows” during the intense 4-Test series which the visitors won in a dramatic fashion earlier this year.
Paine pointed out that India were initially hesitant to travel to Brisbane and Australia did not know where the final Test of the series was going to be played. The Aussie captain is here referring to the chaos that was caused as the visitors refused to leave for Brisbane where the series decider was scheduled to begin.
Some of the former Aussie cricketers questioned India’s tactics and said they are chickening out because of Gabba strip as the venue was a fortress for the home team and no visiting team had won there in 32 years.
India lost the series opener by eight wickets after getting ‘dismissed’ for 36 in Adelaide with Paine winning the man of the match. But in the next match in Melbourne, Ajinkya Rahane led India from the front with Virat Kohli leaving the team to return home.
It was followed by a thriling draw in Sydney as a ramshackled Indian outfit fought to save the series. Then came arguably one of the greatest wins in Test cricket as India breached the Frotess Gabba in Brisbane to win back-to-back Test series in Australia.
“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,” Paine said while speaking at a function for the Chappell Foundation at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday night, according to news.com.au.
“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.”
Here it is to be noted that India were without Virat Kohli, who flew back home after the first Test where India were bundled for 36 — their lowest score in Test cricket.
Ajinkya Rahane took over the reins from Kohli and inspired the visitors to a series-levelling win in the next Test. India then managed to secure a hard-fought draw at SCG.
In the final Test, Rishabh Pant produced a match-winning knock on the final day to help India win the four-match series 2-1.
As soon as Paine’s statement surfaced over internet, the fans and others took to Twitter to slam the Australia captain. But the common sentiment was clear as not many were impressed with his statement. We have picked some of the their reactions for you. Have a look.