RDS_181229 Paine vs Pant 2
Australia's batsman Tim Paine (C) looks back after playing a shot as India's wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (L) takes a successful catch during day four of the third cricket Test match between Australia and India in Melbourne on December 29, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Indian social media users were concerned about the double-standards in cricket umpiring, when Indian wicketkeeper and batsman Rishabh Pant was admonished twice for sledging, while the Australian captain Tim Paine was not, despite more than one recorded incident.

Paine once again found himself in the eye of an Indian social media storm for his comments to Pant during Day 4 of the ongoing Test match.

Australian captain Paine suggested that Pant join the Big Bash League (Australian T20 cricket league) now that former Indian captain M. S. Dhoni was back on the One Day roster with Pant excluded. Paine also offered Pant a job babysitting Paine’s children.

However, the ‘Pant vs Paine’ series — as tweeps have termed it — did not end there. Pant was caught on stump microphones on Saturday, December 29, saying that Paine was just a temporary captain who was all-talk and no-play.

RDS_181229 Paine vs Pant 1
India's batsman Rishabh Pant plays a shot as Australia's wicketkeeper Tim Paine (R) looks on during day three of the third cricket Test match between Australia and India in Melbourne on December 28, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

Uneven playing field

Tweeps such as @DanielGarb were amused by the banter: “...The stump mic sessions on @FoxCricket are magnificent. #AUSvIND”.

However, several Indian social media users took issue with the umpiring, suggesting that India was facing a double standard from umpire Ian Gould.

Tweep @forwardshortleg tweeted: “Disappointed that Ian Gould talked to Pant, not once but twice about his sledges to Paine. Pant was well within his rights to talk. Pant did not abuse [Paine] or say anything wrong. Paine was NEVER reprimanded by the umpires. Double standards from Ian Gould. #AUSvIND”

@bharathshastry addressed Australian reactions to Pant’s comments, tweeting: “The Aussies take offence even though #Pant actually let #Paine know the truth about his captaincy and batting when #Paine came to the crease. Talk about double standards. #AUSvIND”

A few Indians, however, had different opinions. @Devil_4_Lyf tweeted: “Indians praising Rishabh Pant for the temporary captain remark have no idea about how banter works. Tim Paine’s was funny, light banter while Pant straight up took a dig at Paine. I would prefer Paine’s banter over Pant’s anytime. #AusvInd”

An unnecessary evil?

According to media reports, the Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Alistair Nicholson had earlier requested that stump microphones be turned down since it takes “unintentional and accidental” comments by players out of context to fuel controversy.

With Australia being involved in a fair share of stump mic drama, including Paine and Indian captain Virat Kohli’s heated verbal spat a few weeks ago, social media users have weighed in on the matter.

Social media user @ZiddharthSaxena tweeted, “Let the stump mics be on! In an age of selective revelations and listen-ins with everything in our lives, this was the original chatter we always wanted ... Leave it on. #AUSvIND #BoxingDayTest”

Other Twitter users such @MrDTJames wrote: “Can we turn the stump mics down? It makes for a terrible viewing experience. #AUSvIND”