In the ongoing India vs Australia series, Rishabh Pant and Tim Paine have stolen the show with their magnificent banter from behind the stumps. While Pant stole the show with his chirping in the Adelaide Test, Paine has stolen the show with some gems in the Perth and Melbourne Tests. On day 2 of the Boxing Day Test, Paine had gone after Rohit Sharma as he tried to distract the Mumbai batsman by egging him to hit Nathan Lyon for a six. Towards the end of day 3, with India at 47/5 and with Pant on strike, Paine decided to fire another salvo and this exchange has gone viral.
In a tweet uploaded by Cricket Australia, Paine offered his opinion about the selection of India’s ODI team which sees the return of MS Dhoni back into the side. Paine is heard over the stump microphone saying, “Now that Big MS back in the ODI squad, maybe he could play for the Hobart Hurricanes. Beautiful city, rent a nice waterfront place. Do you babysit? I’ll take my wife to the movies one night and you can babysit,” Paine said in an epic way.
Earlier in the Test, Paine had tried to break Rohit’s confidence as the batsman approached his 10th fifty. “It’s been a toss up for me between Royals and Indians, and if Rohit hits a six here, I am changing to Mumbai,” Paine had remarked. Rohit apparently heard the sledge and remarked that if Paine scores a century in the fourth innings, he will be picked by Mumbai Indians in the 2019 Indian Premier League.
In the Perth Test, the Australian skipper was involved in a face-off with Virat Kohli and it is difficult to say who came out on top. “If he messes it up, it's 2-0," Kohli said. In response, Paine fired a unique salvo and stated, “You've got to bat first, big head". The Indian skipper was animated ever since he was dismissed for 123 by Pat Cummins, with Peter Handscomb taking a ‘dodgy’ catch in that match. In the second innings, Paine had an epic exchange with Murali Vijay with Kohli at the other end. “"I know he's your captain but you can't seriously like him as a bloke," Paine had said.
Keep the volume up and listen to Rishabh Pant carry the commentary for an entire over!— The Field (@thefield_in) December 10, 2018
Gavaskar not impressed though! 'Say anything you want to your teammates, not to the opposition,' he says. 🤔#AUSvINDpic.twitter.com/vZEWjhixwp
The opening salvo in this series was initially fired by Pant in the Adelaide Test. His sledges behind the wicket, notably to Usman Khawaja when he said, “Not everyone is like Pujara here” was epic. On the final day of the Test, Pat Cummins was on the receiving end when Pant sledged him from behind by saying, “Come on Patty, we need some sixes now”. His stump mic compilation took Twitter by storm.
Before the start of the series, there was fear that the sledging contest between India and Australia would be ugly and confrontational. However, Paine and Pant have shown that healthy banter still existed and that it can be fun.