The Indian team were nothing if not brave a the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday. They came in fresh from being heavily hit over the 17th, 18th, and 19th of December 2020 in Adelaide, but managed to win in Melbourne. They lost numerous players over the course of the tour but showed up to face the third Test lagging behind with 309 runs and two wickets down.
Only Ajinkya Rahane and Chetshwar Pujara had what to took to bat, with the former out in the second over. But plucky Pujara dug in for 205 balls and Rishabh Pant was a different kind of courageous when, despite a badly bruised arm from the first innings, he took up the No. 5 batting position. He made a valiant effort, counterattacking for 97.
But no one listening to Tim Paine had any idea about these feats. The wicketkeeping captain stood up to the stumps just behind Ravichandran Ashwin during Nathan Lyon’s over latrine the day. And spent this time there ensuring that everyone listening to the match all over the world heard his trivial bitching.
As far as ugly remarks go historically, Paine’s commentary doesn’t even register. But it’s jarring anyhow because it’s by Paine, the team captain who for the past three years has been at the head of a drive to better our reputation and raise the standard of the game.
It seems that when faced with the fact of a Test win slipped away, his commitment to high standards went right along with it.
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