Rishabh Pant has had verbal scuffling with Bonnie Paine’s husband, Tim Paine – MCG

January 2: In the world of cricket, field trash talk stays on the field, but the pleasant rivalry between opposing wicketkeepers during the Australia-India series has strayed off-field – straight into the Kirribilli House.

Heard over the newly turned-up stump microphones, Australian captain Tim Paine bantered Rishabh Pant on-field, during Day 3 of the Boxing Day at the MCG, attempting to recruit Pant to the his franchise, Hobart Hurricanes.

Rishabh Pant poses with Tim Paine’s wife Bonnie Paine and two children @bon.paine (Instagram)

Paine joked that Pant would have free time because MS Dhoni had been recalled for post-Test ODIs. Paine then suggested that Pant could babysit his two young children in Hobart after the Test series.

“Big MS (Dhoni) is back in the one-day squad too, we might get him (Pant) down to the Hurricanes… we need a batter,” Paine was heard saying.

“Fancy that, Pantsy? Extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too, I’ll get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.

“(I’ll) have him over for dinner. Can you babysit? I’ll take the wife to the movies one night and you’ll look after the kids.”

And the sledging then strayed away from the playing arena, when the Australian and Indian Test teams together visited Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Kirribilli House, on New Year’s Day.

Paine’s wife, Bonnie, got in on off-field sledging.

She posted an Instagram story with Pant holding the youngest Paine, Charlie, born in October.

On the story she wrote about the 21-year-old international cricketer “Best babysitter @rishabpant”.

Pant, however, was more than happy holding the little one, as Bonnie grabbed the opportunity.

That brought about plenty of appreciation on social media ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney starting Thursday.

Tim Paine termed the episode “interesting”.

“He was a good sport about it, and he is on the field too. A fair bit’s been made of a bit of banter between two wicketkeepers that’s been pretty light-hearted,” he told ABC.

This incident helped to create a healthy and relaxed atmosphere between the teams in this series, which has earlier also witnessed Paine and Kohli in amicable chats during matches, a far cry from vicious sledging of recent years including  Monkeygate in 2008.

Pant has not responded whether he was interested in the waterfront apartment or joining the Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, India retains the Border-Gavaskar trophy whatever the outcome at SCG.

Raj Kumar

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