Tim Paine has apologised for his conduct at the SCG, admitting he let pressure get to him during the third Test and it affected his mood, captaincy and performance.
Paine’s antics on the final day of the epic draw made headlines around the world, prompting India legend Sunil Gavaskar to declare the wicketkeeper’s behaviour was unbefitting of a leader and that his “days as captain are numbered”.
It came on the same day that Paine was fined 15 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of dissent for appealing to standing umpire Paul Wilson for some “f—ing consistency”.
Stump microphones picked up barbs that Australia’s skipper directed at India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin during the 122nd over of Monday’s stonewall.
Paine claimed “at least my teammates like me, dickhead” during the spat and mocked Ashwin by asking “how many IPL teams wanted you, when you asked every single one of them to have you?”
Paine dropped a catch during the following over, while Ashwin dragged his side to a draw despite a sore back.
Paine, speaking in Monday’s post-match press conference, argued the spat with Ashwin was “all part of the game, no harm done”.
But the 36-year-old was far more contrite on Tuesday morning.
“I’m someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection,” Paine told reporters.
“My leadership wasn’t good enough, I let the pressure of the game get to me.
“It affected my mood and then from there affected my performance.
“I said to our players yesterday ‘I’ve had a really poor game as a leader’.
“I let our group down.
“I’m human, I want to apologise for the mistakes that I made.”
Paine spoke to Ashwin after play on day five, telling him “I ended up looking the fool, didn’t I?”.
“You open your mouth and then you drop a catch. We had a bit of a laugh about that,” he said.
There were fewer laughs during Paine’s debrief with coaching staff Justin Langer, Andrew McDonald and Matthew Mott.
“I raised it with him (Langer on Monday night),” Paine said.
“My mood throughout the whole Test match was probably a little bit off.
“I’m normally a pretty relaxed person.
“When we were batting in this Test, I was on edge.
“I was wandering around the change rooms, couldn’t sit still, couldn’t watch and I think that added to the tension.
“I pride myself on, if anything, taking the tension out of our change room.”
Paine, who has helped turn around the Australian Test team’s image after the Cape Town cheating scandal, is confident the SCG would be a “blip on the radar” rather than a sign of things to come at the Gabba.
“I am not an Australian selector but his days as captain are numbered,” he told India Today.
“If you allow the Indian team to bat 130-odd overs without getting wickets – this is a very good Australian attack.
“Paine was more interested in talking to the batsman rather than his field placing and bowling changes.”