Paine slammed for pushing Ashwin into Sydney draw

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Sydney (AFP)

Former Test players have condemned Australian skipper Tim Paine for dragging Indian Ravichandran Ashwin from behind the stumps as the tourists stood at a draw in Sydney on Monday.

Strain microphones picked up on Paine’s attempt to destabilize Ashwin who responded with his own beards, then with major strokes on the fifth and final day of the third test.

The game ended in a draw and the four test streak is tied 1-1 with the final game at Gabba in Brisbane starting on Friday.

“We can’t wait to get you to the Gabba,” Paine began.

Ashwin replied, “Just like we want to bring you to India. This will be your last series. ”

Paine then said “at least my teammates like me” and added a curse.

Ashwin moved away from the crease for a second, but then continued his innings as he hit over two hours to finish no on 39 as India recovered a draw.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan called Paine’s conduct on the pitch “very, very bad”.

“Let’s be honest, the captain of Australia since the Sandpaper Gate has led this team with a lot of distinction, attitude and never once has he crossed the line of negativity in my eyes,” said Vaughan wrote on Twitter.

“… But today his tongue behind the stumps and the sledge today was back to the good old days !! Very very poor !! ”

Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey said he “didn’t like it” but added “that (the verbal volleys) haven’t gone over the top.”

Ashwin remained firm with Hanuma Vihari as the duo put India to safety at the end of the game with their stand of 62 points on 269 balls. India finished on 334-5, chasing a formidable goal of 407.

Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane said he wasn’t too concerned about the midfield chatter “as long as he stays on the pitch”.

In another controversy, videos suggested Steve Smith scuffed the batter’s hilt at the crease.

A stump camera view showed Smith hitting the shadow, then apparently erasing the pitch marks – made by the beaters to judge their position – with his boots.

But it wasn’t clear if Smith’s act was intentional.

Wicket goalkeeper Rishabh Pant then took on a new guard by hitting a 97 forward.

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag said the Australians had tried “all the tricks” but to no avail.

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