Australia skipper Tim Paine had to face the heat of fans after saying that they were distracted by India's apparent reluctance to play at the Gabba in Brisbane during the 2020/21 Test series. He also claimed that the Indian team created ‘sideshows’ during the series, and the Aussies fell for them and got distracted.
Australia eventually suffered a 2-1 defeat in the series as India chased down a target of 328 on the final day in the fourth and final Test, becoming the first side since 1988 to defeat the Aussies in a Test match at the Gabba.
“Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,” news.com.au quoted Paine as saying at a function for the Chappell Foundation.
"The classic example was when they said they weren't going to the Gabba so we didn't know where we were going. They're very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball."
Australia had a chance to take lead in the third Test in Sydney. However, the last day's fight back down the order from R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari broke Australia's confidence before Rishabh Pant's batting heroics in Brisbane capped a historic series win.
Amid all the hate towards Paine, Australian sports journalist Brent Costelloe shared a picture and sympathized with the Aussie skipper. “Almost 6 months on, poor old @tdpaine36 is still copping heat from Indian fans… and these are just the ones I’m tagged in!” he captioned the post.
In response, Paine also came up with a quirky reply. “Love their passion Brent. Most of it I deserve,” he wrote.