Paine’s days as captain are numbered, says Gavaskar

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PTI

Sydney

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday slammed Australia skipper Tim Paine for sledging Ravichandran Ashwin during the drawn third Test here, saying his behaviour was “unbefitting” of a leader and could cost him his captaincy.

“I don’t know I am not an Australian selector, but his days as captain are numbered. If you allow the Indian team to bat 130-odd overs without getting wickets, this is a very good Australian attack. The bowling changes, the field placements, everything could have made a difference to the result,” Gavaskar told India Today.

Paine’s dropped catches played a key role in the partnership of Hanuma Vihari (23 not out off 161) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 not out off 128), who batted for more than 42 overs for a 62-run stand to save the Test. In frustration, the 36-year-old tried to exchange some words with Ashwin to disturb his focus during the last session and ended up dropping Vihari after that.

“Tim Paine was more interested in talking to the batsman rather than his field placing and bowling changes. So I won’t be surprised if there is a change in the Australian captaincy after the series is over,” Gavaskar said.

“If you drop simple catches, Rishabh Pant got two edges, they were not difficult catches, the last one which he missed off Vihari was also which he could have left to the first slip,” the former India skipper said.