Australia’s bright new skipper, Tim Paine, has been in fine form behind the stumps chatting to the Indian batters. On day three Paine asked Rishabh Pant if he could help out by babysitting for Paine so that the Aussie could take his wife ‘to the movies’.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2018
‘Tell you what, big MS (MS Dhoni) is back in the one-day squad too … we might get him down to the Hurricanes this bloke … we need a batter.
‘Fancy that, Pantsy, surely … extend your little Aussie holiday … beautiful town Hobart, too … get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.
‘Have him over for dinner. You babysit? Take the wife to the movies one night … you look after the kids?’
The next ball Pant took a step down the wicket to Nathan Lyon and hit him hard down to mid-off, the ball carrying in the air for a short distance. Pant’s wicket wasn’t at risk with the stroke, but Paine’s chatter had induced him to play an unnecessarily risky stroke with seven balls left in the day and with India five wickets down in their second innings.
CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO
India are looking favourites to take the Test, but the increasingly impressive Paine proved in this moment the importance of knowing the mental weaknesses of your opponents and how to exploit them. While Pant is a devastating attacking batter, his lack of discretion must be a constant concern for the Indian tail-order batters.
It was also a fine example of onfield chatter, adding in a bit of a barb by highlighting that Pant has been replaced in the Indian one-day side by MS Dhoni, even though the selectors have said the move has been designed to rest Pant. Nothing overtly rude or disrespectful coming from Paine, just well-placed words designed to switch the batter’s focus.
Well played, sir!
Footage and visuals: Cricket Australia / Fox Cricket / Cricket Network