The intensity, surrounding the ongoing Tests for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, between India and Australia, is scaling new heights with each passing game. Meanwhile, a recent attempt of sledging by Australian skipper, Tim Paine, during the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), has not gone well with the fans.

Paine was seen trying to get under Ravichandran Ashwin's skin, while the latter was batting, as the former also used some offensive words. It was all caught up by the stumps microphone, as both engaged in a healthy exchange of worlds for the upcoming Brisbane Test and who would end careers.

Meanwhile, Paine has apologised for his behaviour, besides believing that his poor leadership could have been why the host failed to win it at SCG. "I want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday. I'm someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that," he said during the post-match press conference.

"My leadership wasn't good enough. I let the pressure of the game get to me, it affected my mood and then from there affected my performance. Yesterday, when I came off the ground, my reflection was purely on my wicketkeeping. Sitting back last night and reflecting on the whole game, I think I said to our players yesterday I've had a really poor game as a leader, not so much as a captain, but certainly as a leader," he added.

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"Bitterly disappointed with the way I went about it. I felt my mood throughout the whole Test match was probably a little bit off, the way I spoke to the umpires early on day two was also unacceptable. I've got to cop that on the chin. It's not the way I want to lead this Australian team, certainly not a reflection of how I want to do it going forward. I always talk to our players about playing this game on skill and not on emotion and yesterday, I fell short of my own standards and expectations," he continued.

"I think if you pretend yesterday was okay, and my behaviour was okay and my wicketkeeping was okay, then you've probably got a problem. But, I've said a few times in the last six months, I feel like I'm actually getting better as a cricketer. I've played my best cricket in the last six months. Yesterday, was a poor day," he further reckoned.

Australia has already been shown in low light, especially following the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Capt Town, three years back. Nonetheless, Paine has defended the standards set by his side in recent days, especially following the untoward incident.

"I think the standards we've set ourselves over the last two and a half years has been a really high standard and we want that. We know people around the country look up to us and look to us for leadership and our kids look up to us as heroes. So, we know people expect that from us now and we understand that's how it is, and we sign up for that, and I was the one who fell short of that yesterday," he wondered.