Ravichandran Ashwin couldn’t resist poking fun at Tim Paine after India completed the highest ever run chase at the Gabba to seal an astonishing 2-1 Test series victory over Australia.
The tourists were without Virat Kohli and five of their main bowlers as they were set an imposing target of 328 on the final day of the decisive fourth Test but battled against the odds to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, with Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant starring with the bat.
An inspired Gill made 91 and Pant scored an unbeaten 89 to get India over the line in Brisbane.
The stump mic then caught Paine dishing out an insult he previously used on Kohli during India’s trip Down Under three years ago.
‘At least my team-mates like me,’ he responded.
Paine has since apologised for his part in the unsavoury incident and the Australian skipper will have wanted the ground to swallow him up after dropping three crucial catches on a pulsating final day in Brisbane.
And while Ashwin could play no part at the Gabba, he threatened to reignite his feud with Paine by tagging the wicket-keeper batsman and Cricket Australia’s official page in a celebratory post on Twitter.
‘Good evening from Gabba!! I am sorry I couldn’t play here but thanks for hosting us and playing some hard cricket during these tough times,’ he tweeted.
‘We will remember this series forever!’ @tdpaine36 @CricketAus’
‘There’s lots of things we can look back over the whole series and do better, there’s no doubt about that. But what’s done is done. We’ll go back through it, no doubt, as a group but we’ve got to look forward now, we’ve got a big series coming up in South Africa. As I said, we’ve been out-played by a better side in this series and there’s going to be some areas we need to improve, there’s no doubt about that.’
Asked whether he had any regrets about declaring yesterday, Paine replied: ‘I think we got about what we wanted to be honest. We wanted to set a bit of 300 and we obviously had to dangle a bit of a carrot because we needed to win the Test match to win the series.
‘Last night we might have had 20 overs at them in some favourable conditions had it not rained, but as I said I thought India turned up today, the batting group put their bodies on the line, they took balls in the head, chest and just kept soldiering on so full credit to them.’
Paine brushed off calls for him to step down as captain and insisted he was still ‘loving’ the job.
He said: ‘I’m still looking forward to going to South Africa and the series there. We’ve had a goal to make this Test Championship final.
‘I think that’s still achievable. It’s a big focus for us and for me and this group.’
Asked whether he plans to lead Australia into this year’s Ashes, Paine replied: ‘I’ve said many times the last two or three years I don’t look past the next series. I’m 36 years old, I’m loving doing my job. It’s a difficult job and it’s times like this it can be bloody hard work when you’re copping it left, right and centre.
‘That’s what I signed up for. I didn’t play my best cricket at times this series but that can happen. I’ll go away, look to get better, look to improve certain parts of my game for the next year.’
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