Tim Paine has lifted the lid on his famous banter with Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and the viral photo that came about as a result.
Paine was overheard on stump microphones asking Pant if he could do some babysitting for him during India’s tour of Australia in 2018.
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The Aussie captain suggested Pant could play for the Hobart Hurricanes during that season’s Big Bash League because he wouldn’t be required for the one-day series (a cheeky dig at Pant).
“Tell you what, big MS (Dhoni) is back in the one day squad too, we might get him down to the (Hobart) Hurricanes this bloke, we need a batter,” Paine said of Pant while he was batting.
“Fancy that Pant, extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too. Get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.
“Have him over for dinner. Can you babysit? (Can I) take the wife to the movies one night, you can look after the kids?”
Paine has now revealed the motivation behind the banter, saying the Aussies had worked out there was no use sledging Pant so they tried to disrupt his concentration instead.
“Geez we were bored,” Paine said in commentary for Channel 7 during the Big Bash on Monday night. “Could not get a wicket.
“Well Rick (Ponting) knows him quite well — one, he’s very very good, but two, we found out early in that series that discovered early in the series that sledging him was a waste of time.
“It just didn’t bother him, but what we found was that you could get a real lapse of concentration out of him so we went a bit that way.
“So I just tried to put him off and talk rubbish to try and get him involved because he was likely to play a poor shot at time. But he’s a seriously talented player.”
The ‘babysitter’ jibe then resulted in a brilliant photo of Pant alongside Paine’s wife Bonnie and their two kids while the two sides visited Kirribilli House before the New Year’s Test.
Paine said wife Bonnie didn’t see the original on-field banter but caught onto it through social media.
“I think she had got a bit of it through her Instagram and then she put up that photo on and as it happens, and as it’s happened, she had a million new Indian followers the next day so she panicked a little bit that it was on the news,” Paine said while also revealing that he took the famous photo.
Hurricanes slump to third-straight loss
Paine said the Hurricanes could’ve used Pant as his side slumped to their third-straight loss.
Having topped the Big Bash League table after the regular rounds last season, the Hurricanes currently sit second last and three competition points adrift of a finals berth.
The Tasmanians suffered their third loss in a row on Monday night, a 77-run shellacking at the hands of the Perth Scorchers.
Hobart was bowled out for 98 on their home turf in reply to Perth's 7-175 with just three batsman making it to double figures.
"That was a really disappointing one," allrounder Simon Milenko said of the team's second-lowest score.
"It just wasn't to be with the bat, we needed one of our top four or five blokes to go and make a big one and it didn't quite happen."