‘Paine is an outstanding leader’

| | Brisbane
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‘Paine is an outstanding leader’

Thursday, 14 January 2021 | PTI | Brisbane

Australia coach Justin Langer on Wednesday unequivocally supported his under-fire skipper Tim Paine, calling him an “outstanding leader”, who will remain in the top job for some more time despite his poor keeping and unsportsmanlike conduct in the third Test against India.

Paine was heavily criticised for sledging and yelling at Ravichandran Ashwin who battled pain and aches to help India draw the match on the fifth and final in Sydney. He also dropped three catches at crucial junctures.

But Paine has “100 per cent” backing of his coach.

“You have no idea how much faith I have in Tim Paine, he did not have his best day, no doubt about that, but after three years he has been outstanding as the Australian captain, everything he does,” Langer said.

The chief coach was speaking two days ahead of the series-deciding fourth and final Test here.

“He (Paine) had a frustrating day, that cut him some slack surely. But having said that when you set a standard as high as he does and as we do, we understand when you are criticised when we fall below that.

“It is not what we are about, but Tim Paine is an outstanding leader and will continue to be for some time to come yet, he has my 100 per cent support,” added Langer.

‘Load of rubbish’

Justin Langer cannot believe the “absolute load of rubbish” that Steve Smith was trying to scuff up Rishabh Pant’s guard in the drawn Sydney Test, and has called the criticism of his “quirks” way out of line and ludicrous.

Smith was accused of scuffing up the batsman’s guard during the drinks break in the first session on Monday in the drawn Test. But Langer backed Smith to the hilt, coming down heavily on the criticism, mostly driven by fans online and some former players like Michael Vaughan.

“...I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith. Absolute load of rubbish. I mean, if anyone knows Steve Smith, he is a bit quirky and he does some weird (stuff) and we have laughed about it for the last couple of years,” Langer said.

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