The Wicketkeeping Babysitters’ Club Visits Kirribilli

Paine and Pant’s entertaining sledging duel pays off

Australia and India’s rival test cricket wicketkeepers have taken their good-humoured sledging duel from last week’s test match to the Prime Minister’s residence at Kirribilli House.

When both Test teams visited PM Scott Morrison on New Year's Day, Bonnie Paine, the wife of Aussie captain Tim Paine, took the opportunity to turn her husband’s on-field suggestion that Rishab Pant might like to babysit their children into reality.

She posted an Instagram story with Pant pictured with her and her children, the Indian keeper holding the youngest Paine, Charlie, who was born just before Australia's October Test tour of the UAE.

On the story she wrote "Best babysitter @rishabpant" – and a crying with laughter emoji.

Bonnie Paine's Instagram story photo with Rishabh Pant

Forget trash talk, it’s really a compliment to Pant’s game. The Paines clearly think he has a safe pair of hands.

And it’s proof, if any was needed, that if you can keep wickets, you can definitely handle a baby gate.

The mutual good-humoured ribbing took place during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, where Paine and Pant could be heard by the world over the turned-up stump microphones.

On day three, with Pant at the crease, Paine made light of the fact that the keeper had a break coming up because 37-year-old wicketkeeper MS Dhoni had been called into India's squad for the One Day International series after the Tests.

"We might get [Pant] down to the [Hobart] Hurricanes, we need a batter," Paine said.

"You'd fancy that, Pantsy, surely — extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too. Get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.”

He then suggested Pant could come over to his place for dinner, before following with the child-minding suggestion.

"Do you babysit? I'll take my wife to the movies, you can look after the kids?"

Paine eventually took a catch to dismiss Pant, but the Indian keeper got his own back the following day when it was Paine’s turn to bat, having a crack at the Aussie for only achieving the position as skipper in the wake of Steve Smith’s twelve month suspension.

“Have you heard of a temporary captain, ever?” Pant asked his teammates.

“You don’t need anything to get him out, boy,” he continued. “He loves to talk. That’s the only thing he can do boy. Only talking, talking.”

In a suitably apt fashion, Pant also took the catch to dismiss Paine, and had the last laugh as India wound up winning by 137 runs to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.