As Team India had to walk with a limp in order to reach the series decider at The Gabba, Australian skipper Tim Paine has apparently tried to rub salt into the wound by issuing a fresh warning to an already depleted Indian side in the build-up to the 4th and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Paine, who was bashed by several luminaries of the cricket fraternity for sledging the Indian batsmen in the penultimate clash of the series has lauded premier batsman Steve Smith ahead of the upcoming Brisbane Test match.
While Paine was involved in a verbal spat with Indian spinner and middle-order batsman Ravichandran Ashwin, former skipper and batting maestro Smith faced the wrath of the fans for allegedly scuffing Rishabh Pant’s batting guard mark during India’s herculean chase of 407 in the 3rd Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Coming out in the support of his teammate following the infamous guard mark row, Paine had defended Smith by clarifying the Australian cricketer’s act of ‘shadow batting’.
Speaking on the eve of the 4th Test match at The Gabba, the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman warned the injury-ravaged Team India side about Smith’s sublime form in the four-match series. Paine has claimed that the premier batsman of the Baggy Greens will be back to his best in the Gabba Test.
Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant's batting guard marks from the crease. Par kuch kaam na aaya. Khaaya peeya kuch nahi, glass toda barana.
But I am so so proud of the effort of the Indian team today. Seena chonda ho gaya yaar. pic.twitter.com/IfttxRXHeM
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2021
“Steve is in a good frame of mind. I think we’ve seen through what he’s been through in the last three years… he’s mentally very strong, very tough. He knows sometimes he’s going to be criticised and he’s handled that supremely well. If anything, I think he feeds off it. His statistics speak for themselves and we’ll see the best of Steve Smith again this week,” Paine said ahead of the 4th Test match between India and hosts Australia.
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) January 12, 2021