Rishabh Pant plays ‘babysitter’ to Tim Paine’s son at Kirribilli House after on-field sledge
The saying goes that trash talk should stay on the field, but the friendly rivalry between opposing wicketkeepers during the Australia-India series has strayed off-field, albeit in good humour.
- Tim Paine joked Rishabh Pant would have free time with MS Dhoni recalled for post-Test ODIs
- Paine suggested Pant could babysit his two young children in Hobart after the Test series
- The Australian and Indian Test teams went to Kirribilli House together on New Year’s Day
During India’s 137-run win over Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Australia captain Tim Paine and India’s Rishabh Pant could be heard regularly over the newly turned-up stump microphones.
On day three with Pant at the crease during an evening collapse, Paine made light of the fact that the keeper had a break coming up because 37-year-old wicketkeeper MS Dhoni had been called into India’s squad for the ODI series after the Tests.
“We might get [Pant] down to the [Hobart] Hurricanes, we need a batter,” Paine said.
“You’d fancy that, Pantsy — extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too. Get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.
“You can come over for dinner. Do you babysit? I’ll take my wife to the movies, you can look after the kids?”
And when the two Test teams visited Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Kirribilli House on New Year’s Day, Paine’s wife, Bonnie, got in on the joke.
She posted an Instagram story with Pant holding the youngest Paine, Charlie, who was born just before Australia’s Test tour of the UAE in October.
On the story she wrote “Best babysitter @rishabpant”.
Tim Paine (right) has had a few on-field conversations with vocal opposing gloveman Rishabh Pant (left). (AP: James Elsby)
The photo emphasised the good-natured verbal sparring from the series thus far, which has also seen Paine and opposing captain Virat Kohli having regular chats out in the middle.
Pant also got some of his own back in the final innings of the Melbourne match, saying it would take “nothing special” to dismiss Paine, who he also labelled a “temporary captain”.
But the tone of the conversations remain a far cry from some of the vicious sledging from recent years and even further from the lowlights of Australia and India’s cricket history, including the ugly Monkeygate scandal of 2008.