It was widely expected that Rishabh Pant will dish it out to Australian captain Tim Paine when the latter walked out to bat in the second innings and that is just what happened at the MCG on Saturday.
Paine was having a go at Pant on Friday, referring to MS Dhoni returning to the India ODI squad while the young Delhi keeper finds himself out of the limited-overs squads.
“We have got a special guest today, Monku,” Pant said, addressing his teammate Mayank Agarwal, who was fielding close to the on-strike Paine. “Have you ever heard the word ‘temporary captain?’ You don’t need anything to get him out, boy.”
After Paine failed to connect with a full, wide ball from Ravindra Jadeja, Pant resumed the banter, saying, “Can’t put away the bad ball, lads. He loves to talk, that’s the only thing he can do – only talking, talking.”
Interestingly, Umpire Ian Gould had a chat with Pant after he had that exchange with Paine. While it is unclear if it was over the comments he made, Pant didn’t look too happy after that. While there wasn’t much wrong with what was heard on the mic, it’s unsure if something happened between overs.
On day three, when Pant was on strike, Paine had said to one of his teammates who was fielding close by, “Tell you what, if Big MS [Dhoni] is back in the [India] one-day squad, we might get him [Pant] down to the [Hobart] Hurricanes, this bloke. We need a batter.”
Paine, who plays for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League when he’s not on national duty, then looked towards Pant and said, “Fancy that? You can extend a nice Aussie holiday. Beautiful town, Hobart, too. [We can] get you a nice apartment on the waterfront..”
“Do you babysit? I’ll take my wife to the movies one night and you can babysit,” he told Pant.