Australian cricket coach Justin Langer said the reaction to Tim Paine’s frustrations during the third Test have been overblown.
Tensions reached boiling point late on day five at the SCG, with Indian pair Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin holding Australia’s bowling attack out to seal an unlikely draw.
Paine was heard on the stump mic sledging Ashwin in particular, but Langer said Paine shouldn’t be criticised considering his exemplary disciplinary record as skipper in recent years.
“We were playing on an incredible flat wicket that wasn’t doing much and he got a bit frustrated,” he said on SEN Mornings.
“He’s human and also, we’re in different conditions that we’re usually used to and he got a bit frustrated. It wasn’t vicious and not too malicious and he got a bit frustrated.
“For a bloke who has hardly put a hair out of line as captain for Australia, he got a little bit frustrated for two minutes.
“The bloke is human, so give him a break. Hopefully we’ve shown in the last few years, that we want to be really good sportspeople on and off the field.
“We’ve talked about making Australians proud of us again, and I sense we’ve done that. Maybe when you set such a high bar, maybe people are waiting for people just to step below it.
“When we step below that line, we get criticised and that’s fair enough.”
Earlier in the Test, Paine was fined 15 per cent of his match fee after showing dissent to umpire Paul Wilson.