Cricket 2020: Tim Paine reveals truth behind babysitter sledge, Rishabh Pant, Ricky Ponting, BBL
King of the banter Tim Paine has revealed the story behind his “babysitter” sledge of Rishabh Paine and the viral photo taken by his wife Bonnie.
It was the sledge that kickstarted Paine’s bantering ways behind the stump as he took a cheeky jab in India’s series win in Australia during the 2018 Boxing Day Test.
The series was 1-all and Australia were hunting a wicket when Paine dropped the hilarious banter.
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The Aussie skipper appeared to be recruiting the Indian star for the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL, having a not-so-subtle jab at Pant’s omission from the Indian ODI side.
Paine then asked Pant, if he was going to be in Tasmania anyway, to come babysit his kids so he could get a night out with his missus.
“Tell you what, big MS (Dhoni) is back in the one day squad too, we might get him down to the (Hobart) Hurricanes this bloke, we need a batter,” Paine said while Pant was at the crease.
“Fancy that Pant, extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too. Get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.
“Have him over for dinner. Can you babysit? (Can I) take the wife to the movies one night, you can look after the kids?”
While it’s become a great part of the Aussie skipper’s game, Paine, who was in BBL commentary for both Channel 7 and Fox Cricket for the match between the Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers in Hobart, revealed why he took aim at the star in that way.
And although his other big sledges, including taking a shot at Virat Kohli, asking Murali Vijay “I know he’s your captain, but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke — you couldn’t possibly like him” in bitter Perth Test last year.
He also got Ross Taylor this year, saying the Kiwi star “He knows the bloke in the truck” after a DRS decision went his way.
But the Pant jab was much friendlier and culminated in Rishabh and Bonnie’s hilarious image on Instagram.
While Pant tried to get back in Paine’s head with talk of him as well but much less successfully as the Aussie.
The 21-year-old Indian wicketkeeper mercilessly ribbed the Aussie skipper from behind the pegs throughout his innings, referring to him as the “special guest” of the home side.
“We’ve got a special case today, come on boys. Special appearance today boy. Come on. No responsibility there from captain,” he said before ripping into Paine’s position as captain.
“Have you heard of a temporary captain ever? Have you heard of it? Have you heard of anything like a temporary captain ever? You don’t need anything to get him out, boy.
“He loves to talk. That’s the only thing he can do boy. Only talking, talking.”
But Paine has revealed why he chose to needle Pant with the babysitter sledge.
“Geez we were bored,” Paine said in BBL commentary. “Could not get a wicket.
“Well Rick (Ponting) knows him quite well — one, he’s very very good, but two, we found out early in that series that discovered early in the series that sledging him was a waste of time. It just didn’t bother him, but what we found was that you could get a real lapse of concentration out of him so we went a bit that way.
“So I just tried to put him off and talk rubbish to try and get him involved because he was likely to play a poor shot at time. But he’s a seriously talented player.”
It may not have been the best idea to let Pant know the plan with India coming out again next season but there may be some more delicious banter in the future.
Or maybe Alex Carey can take Paine’s crown in the three-game ODI series starting Tuesday.
As for what Bonnie thought at the time, he said “I don’t think she was watching”.
“Then I think she had got a bit of it through her Instagram and then she put up that photo on and as it happens, and as it’s happened, she had a million new Indian followers the next day so she panicked a little bit that it was on the news.”
Paine said he was the photographer of the famous picture.
“But he’d be handy for us right now,” Paine said.
“He can play, there’s no doubt about that,” Ponting added. “In fact, I think he’s as good as anyone I’ve seen in the T20 game. Very very damaging.”
The Hurricanes are languishing in seventh in the BBL this season and are in a tough position to make the finals if their current form continues.
Originally published as ‘Panic’: Truth behind viral cricket sledge