Australia Test captain Tim Paine has urged the fans who plan to attend the fourth Test in Brisbane to stay away from abusive behaviour and instead support the teams, and respect players. The ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia has been jolted by a massive controversy with allegations of racism from few fans who attended the third Test in Sydney.Also Read - Was Shane Warne a Flawed Genius? The Greatest Leg-Spinner of His Generation Answers
India fast bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have levelled the allegations with the governing authorities taking the help of police in investigating the incident. Paine, who had thrown his weight behind the touring party, has continued his criticism of the ugly behaviour. Also Read - Sri Lanka Cricket Board Requests BCCI to Start Tour With T20Is in February- Report
“In terms of crowd behaviour – we don’t condone the abuse of anyone; let alone from the racial standpoint,” Paine said on Thursday. “So we want people to come along to the Gabba, enjoy the game of cricket, support Australia, support India. Support the umpires if you like. But my suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players, respect the game and have a good time.” Also Read - EXCLUSIVE! Mohammed Shami: Who Wouldn't Like To Captain India But I Am Ready For Any Responsibility Given to Me
Pain himself has been at the receiving end of criticism for his heated exchange with Ravichandran Ashwin during a tense fifth and final day’s play in Sydney. He called Ashwin ‘d****head’ during a fierce exchange as India battled to save the Test. Later, he called up a press conference to apologise for losing his cool.
“I just think I’ll handle it differently. I let it get under my skin, no doubt about that,” Paine said. “I’ve admitted that – but for me, it’s about rising above it and concentrating on what I’m doing and concentrating on leading my team, not worrying about what is going on with the other side. That’s the focus for us, we’ve spoken a lot this game about controlling what we can control and focusing more inwardly on ourselves. If we do that, we’ll be in a good position.”
Paine admitted he has played his best when focused on the game and aims to do that at The Gabba.
“If you look throughout my whole career, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of staying relaxed for 99% of it. Again, it’s going back to how I play my best cricket that’s having a smile on my face, enjoying cricket for what it is – a game. And at times the other day, I certainly thought I got caught up in the moment. What I’ve been really good at is being able to step back – even just have a look around the crowd at times – and realise that at that very second, you’re captaining your country in a Test match,” he said.
Meanwhile, with the series locked at one-all, Paine is hoping the bouncy Brisbane pitch will work in Australia’s favour as they target to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
“Yeah it [the Gabba] is right up there, no doubt about that,” he said. “It’s a hard place to come and play cricket. Even for Tasmanians and Victorians to come here, it can be challenging to adjust to the different bounce and speed of the wicket. It’s something that has been to the advantage of Australian teams for a long time.”