Australia captain Tim Paine called India spinner Ravi Ashwin a ‘d***head’ during a heated sledging clash as India saved the Sydney Test.
Paine’s side required eight wickets on day five of the third Test at the SCG to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series, but could only claim three as Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari survived 256 balls.
Ashwin made 39 from 128 deliveries while Vihari, struggling with a hamstring injury, dug in to score 23 from 161 balls as the tourists defied Australia.
Tempers flared on an intriguing final day and Australia skipper Paine clashed with Ashwin, calling the India star a ‘d***kead’.
Paine also said he ‘cannot wait to get Ashwin to the Gabba’, where the fourth and final Test will be played, starting on Friday.
Ashwin refused to back down during the exchange, claiming Paine’s international career will be over following Australia’s next tour of India.
Tim Paine and Ravi Ashwin’s sledging battle
Tim Paine: ‘I can’t wait to get you to the Gabba Ash I’ll tell you what, woo hoo.’
Ravi Ashwin: ‘Just like we want to get you to India that will be your last series.’
TP: ‘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.’
RA: ‘Tell me when you’re done (refuses to bat until Paine stops talking).
TP: ‘I’ll talk all day mate. Wait until you get to the Gabba, pal.’
RA: ‘It’s your guy man not me (Ashwin gesturing to Australia bowler Nathan Lyon as play was held up).
TP: ‘How many IPL teams wanted you when you asked every single one of them to have you? Oh I’ll come if I’m captain. I’ve played a series in India. Yeah. Can’t remember my average, 60-something?’
Shortly after the exchange, Paine dropped a catch off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.
Speaking at the close of play, the Australia captain said: ‘We created enough chances, our bowlers were superb. So this is a tough one to swallow.
‘I will have to take the blame for the dropped catches. We’re looking forward to Brisbane. We didn’t play our best in Adelaide or Melbourne but this was the closest.
‘There were some positive signs out there. A whole-hearted effort from the boys today.’
India captain Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, said: ‘I think our talk this morning was showing character and fight until the end. We’re looking forward to Brisbane now.’
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