Australia captain Tim Paine has refused to engage in a battle of words with India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, who had criticized his captaincy, saying that his critical assessment of his leadership doesn't bother him one bit.
Sunil Gavaskar had termed Paine’s attempts at unsettling R Ashwin by using foul words and below the belt sledging on day 5 of the SCG Test, as "unbefitting of national team captain" whose days as the man in charge seemed to be "numbered".
Asked if he had heard about Gavaskar's comments on him, Paine said: "I had, but I am not going to go into it and get my back and forth with Sunny Gavaskar, I think I am not going to win that."
"He is entitled to his opinion. It doesn't affect us one iota. It is adding to the Test match, which is great. So Sunny can keep saying what he wants to say at the end of the day, it is absolutely nothing to do with it,” he added.
Paine was caught on stump mic calling Ashwin a ‘d***head’ when the batsman, along with Hanuma Vihari was battling injuries and fatigue to draw the Test match, which they successfully did, much to the chagrin of the Australian captain and the team.
Meanwhile, Paine apologized for his on-field behavior after the SCG Test and said that from now on, he would like to play the way he knows and that's doing his job with a smile on his face.
"Throughout my career, I have done a pretty good job of being relaxed 99 percent of the time. That's when I have played my best cricket. Other day, I thought I got caught up in the moment.
What I have been good at it is able to step back and have a look around the crowd and realize you are captaining your country in a Test match, something I have always dreamt of. Obviously, I am going to compete very hard and I am going to win as much as anyone and I would like to compete," said the 36-year-old.
"I will be myself. Don't know how many Tests I have played but I have gone about in a pretty consistent fashion. Another day, it was a blip on the radar," he had no shame in admitting.
However, he was in favor of clean and light-hearted banter, though former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy had said that Australia became angry and petty seeing that a win was getting out of their hands.
"I have copped that on the chin and look to come out and play competitive cricket, as I always do. There is a bit of banter that I always do but be aware of the stump mic and be a bit more respectful of the umpires, officials, and players," the skipper added.