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Mitchell Johnson’s Defence of Australia Skipper Tim Paine: 'Turn Off Stump Mics'

A lot of criticism towards Paine resulted from his charged on-field heckling of Ravichandran Ashwin on the Day 5 of the Sydney Test.

Mitchell Johnson’s Defence of Australia Skipper Tim Paine: 'Turn Off Stump Mics'

Following Australia’s defeat at their “fortress” of The Gabba, fingers have been pointed at captain Tim Paine for his poor performance. Many accused the skipper’s lack of leadership and more focus on abusing the opposing team than their game. The Border-Gavaskar trophy was boiling in controversy and accusations from all sides. However, amid the hate and criticism being hurled at Paine all over social media, former Australian all-rounder Mitchell Johnson has come forward to extend his support and stand in defence of Paine.

India won the Test Series by 2-1, with one match ending in a draw. This broke Australia’s 32-long-years’ worth of record of never losing at The Gabba. Analysts, critics, and former Australian players voiced their discontent for Paine very openly. Michael Vaughan, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne accused Paine of his poor leadership skills and his bad form with the batting and fielding, especially his poor wicketkeeping. Australian fans even demanded Paine should step down from his captaincy.

But Johnson says these comments on social media are “ridiculous.” He said the captain alone cannot be blamed for their loss at this historic series. He was speaking on The Fast and the Curious Podcast. “It’s a sport, and there is competitiveness,” he said.

Paine was also captain during the Ashes in 2019, which they won. However, they lost in their first-ever Test series against India under Virat Kohli’s captaincy the same year. Paine became the captain for this series after then-captain Steve Smith was banned from cricket for a year. He was found guilty in a ball-tampering incident during 2018 in Cape Town against South Africa. Additionally, he incurred a two-year ban from leadership.

A lot of criticism towards Paine resulted from his charged on-field heckling of Ravichandran Ashwin on the Day 5 of the Sydney Test. While some banter on the field is common, Paine crossed lines of sportsmanship and ended up eventually swearing at Ashwin, which the latter handled with utmost dignity.

To this, Johnson said the solution was to turn off the stump mics so that these players are not under scrutiny. He did not comment on whether the act was right or wrong, his answer was to let the players abuse, but don’t let the audience hear it.



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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