Australian skipper Tim Paine isn't oblivious of the fact that bio-bubble and quarantining has been more tough on the Indian team as they are in different country, away from their families. He also stated that Steven Smith, who copped criticism for scuffing up Pant’s guard, feeds off negativity.
It has been one of those tours for India in Australia, when lot of off-field stuff has made it the headlines. After the restaurant gate and India's insistence on not going for the hard quarantine in Brisbane, they have been at the eye of the storm. But after both the things got resolved, new reports emerged where it was stated that Indian team got below-par hotel facilities when they landed in Brisbane, impacting their preparation.
Star Australian woman cricketer Alyssa Healy, who also happens to be Mitchell Starc's wife, had even taken potshots at the Indian team and tweeted, "The Aus and NZ women’s teams did their quarantine in the same hotel last year. Here’s a shock - we survived."
When Tim Paine was asked about her comments in the presser ahead of the Gabba Test, he answered, "I haven't seen Alyssa 's tweets and to be fair, I haven't heard complaints from Indian players. And this has been difficult for everyone, and more so for them as they are in different country and away from families. We do understand these difficulties as Steven Smith, Pat Cummins, and David Warner have been in the same shoes, it's difficult thing but I haven't heard anything from Indians directly."
Australian batsman Steven Smith returned back to form in fine fashion at the SCG as he scored a century and a fifty in the game. But, there was a major controversy after he was seen scuffing up Pant’s guard, which many claimed to be cheating of sorts. Paine, however, stated that Smith is unfazed by all this and he will only comeback stronger.
"We have seen through what he has gone through in the last three years that he came back straight into form and performed in the Ashes, he is mentally very strong, very tough,” Paine said.
“He knows that at times he is going to be criticised and he has handled that extremely well not only this week but since he has come back in to our side, so, if anything he feeds off it, his statistics will speak for himself and we will see the best of Steve Smith this week.”
Nathan Lyon will be playing his 100th Test at the Gabba hasn't done too well in the series thus far. But Paine feels the off-spinner will play a big role in the last Test.
"He has bowled okay in the series. He created heaps of chances in the first Test but those didn't go into hand. Even the last Test, he did really well and things could have been different had I taken those two catches, the story could have been different. But yeah playing 100 Tests is not easy, it's an amazing achievement. We expect him to play a big role at the Gabba."
Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar was quite critical of Paine sledging Ashwin on day five of the SCG Test, where he had called the Indian player a di**he**, for which he even apologized later on. But Paine refused to get into a war of words with the legendary batsman.
“I had, but I am not going to go into it and get my back and forth with Sunny Gavaskar, I think I am not going to win that. He is entitled to his opinion. It doesn’t affect us one iota. It is adding to the Test match, which is great. So Sunny can keep saying what he wants to say at the end of the day, it is absolutely nothing to do with it,” Paine said.
The Aussie wicket-keeper batsman and skipper also reflected on his behavior and feels he hasn't done too wrong in his career till now and will be up for banter in the fourth Test starting from Friday in Brisbane.
“I will be myself. Don’t know how many Tests I have played but I have gone about in a pretty consistent fashion. Other day, it was a blip on the radar,” he said.
“I have copped that on the chin and look to come out and play competitive cricket, as I always do. There is a bit of banter that I always do but be aware of the stump mic and be a bit more respectful of the umpires, officials and players,” he added.