The Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2020-21 was one of the most dramatic and fiercely competitive series in recent times. While India were completely outplayed in the opening Test, which saw the Virat Kohli-side get bowled out for 36, the touring party bounced back in surreal fashion to beat Australia 2-1. Understandably, losing a series at home to India wasn't the best of results but it was his conduct on the field that also led Aussie Test skipper Tim Paine to face a lot of criticism.
Months after the defeat, amid talks of a change in Test captaincy, Paine has now opened up on the series. However, he did not admit his or his team's shortcomings but accused the visitors of distracting them by creating "sideshows." His statement has gone viral and is raising a lot of eyebrows of Indian fans and supporters.
"Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that," Paine said while speaking at a function for the Chappell Foundation at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday night as quoted by news.com.au.
"The classic example was when they said they weren’t going to the Gabba so we didn’t know where we were going. They’re very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball," he added.
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There were rumours that India were reluctant to play fourth Test at Gabba
Notably, there were unconfirmed reports doing the rounds at that time suggesting that India were reluctant to play the fourth Test at Gabba, Brisbane owing to the hard quarantine rules there. However, Australian supporters believed that Team India did not want to play there since the hosts had not lost there in 32 years.
Eventually, the Men in Blue defeated the Aussies by 3 wickets at their fortress, chasing down a target of 328 on the final day, becoming the first team since Vivian Richards’ West Indies team in 1988 to beat Australia in a Test match at the Gabba.