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Australia Test captain Tim Paine, after facing huge backlash for his remarks against the Indian team, has issued clarification saying that he “certainly wasn’t making any excuses” for his side’s 2-1 Test series loss against India earlier this year. Speaking at a fund-raiser event for the Chappell Foundation, Paine had said that the Indian team is very good at “creating these sideshows” which distracted him and his players during the series. The comments didn’t go down well with the Indian fans, and they took to social media in large numbers to slam the Australian skipper for making excuses after his side came short in the enthralling series. 

Reacting to the backlash by the Indian supporters, Paine clarified that he was asked about a number of things, including the challenges of playing against India and he only answered that. 

“I was asked a number of things, and one of those was talking about the challenges of playing against India. One of them is the distraction they can create. There was a lot of talk that they weren’t going to Brisbane. They’re always changing gloves and bringing out physios and all that can get on your nerves. Just said that was one of the things that probably distracted me and took my eye of the ball at times,” Paine explained on the Gilly and Goss podcast

Paine explained that whatever he said about India being a deserved winner because they “simply outplayed us” didn’t make the light of the day and he ended up being slammed by Indian fans on social media. 

“But also, I did say that they simply outplayed us and that they deserved to win but they left that one out. The Indian fans have been slamming me on social media. They say that I’m making excuses again but it’s all good fun,” Paine added. 

“Absolutely, I think anytime an Australian captain speaks publicly is gonna to see the light of the day, there’s no doubt about that. Like I said, it was a wide-ranging interview for a long period of time. I certainly wasn’t making any excuses. I was asked about some of the challenges of the summer, and I said that was one of them for me,” he added.

Despite being on the receiving end of a huge backlash, Paine said he loved the Indian fans and their passion for the game of cricket. 

“I love Indian fans. I don’t mind getting a bit of stick, particularly when you deserve. They ripped me off in the summer when I dropped those catches, that was totally fair. I love the passion…I love how much they love cricket. I like how much they interact. For some people it’s positive interaction… most of the times they are in to me, but I don’t mind that,” said Paine, praising Indian fans.

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Australia began the series with a massive win in the Adelaide inside three days but failed to win any more matches despite India missing some of their key players, including skipper Virat Kohli, either due to unavailability or injuries. 

Bouncing back from the humiliating loss in the day-night Test, the visitors won the Boxing Day Test to level the series. India then managed to draw the Sydney Test battling against all odds and then finished the series by breaching Australia fortress at The Gabba in Brisbane to register their second consecutive Test series win Down Under. 

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