Cricket: Australian captain Tim Paine roasted by cricketing world for sledging barb with India's Ravichandran Ashwin

Australian captain Tim Paine described the final day of the third test against India as one of his "worst", and maybe karma played a role in a potentially match-losing performance from the wicket-keeper.

India lost just three wickets in 97 overs, with Paine dropping three catches on a day where Australia believed they were headed for a 2-1 series lead.

Paine dropped Rishabh Pant twice in the Indian wicket-keepers match-turning knock of 97, and then critically the stubborn Hanuma Vihari with 10 overs remaining.

And it's a moment just before that dropped catch that Paine is being panned for across the cricketing globe.

Ravichandran Ashwin frustrated the Australians for close to four hours, prodding, leaving and defending the vaunted homeside attack.

Paine and his Aussie side had had enough as they ventured into scenes of the past where sledging became a little too personal.

With Australia's hopes of victory fading at the SCG, a frustrated Paine had a heated exchange with Ashwin that was picked up by the stump microphone.

Paine: "We can't wait to get you to the Gabba Ash" - referring to the fourth and deciding Test in Brisbane.

Ashwin: "Just like we want to get you to India. It'll be your last series."

Paine: "Oh what are you a selector for us now - At least my team-mates f***ing like me. Dickhead.

"I've got a lot more Indian friends that you do. Even your team-mates think you're a goose, don't they? Every one of them."

At this point, Ashwin stepped out of his crease to compose himself, with spinner Nathan Lyon waiting at the other end to bowl.

'Tell me when you're done,' Ashwin asked Paine.

'I'll talk all day, mate,' was Paine's response. 'Wait until you get to the Gabba, pal.'

With Lyon asking what the hold-up was, Ashwin gestured towards him and said: "It's your guy, man, not me."

Paine couldn't resist another dig just a few balls later.

"How many IPL [Indian Premier League] teams wanted you when you asked every single one of them to have you?'

"'Oh, I'll come if I'm captain. I've played a series in India. Yeah.'"

It wasn't the first controversial incident involving Paine in the Sydney test after he narrowly avoided a ban for dissent for swearing at umpire Paul Wilson on day three.

The 36-year-old was fined 15 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point by the ICC for his reaction to a review call that went against Australia.

India captain Ajinkya Rahane said he wasn't concerned by the onfield "banter" as long as it remained on the field, but cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar described Paine's sledging of Ashwin as "unwanted and unnecessary" on Channel 7 commentary.

As for his performance with the gloves, Paine admits he was poor.

"I'm bitterly disappointed. I pride myself on my wicketkeeping," he said.

"It's a horrible feeling knowing that our fast bowlers and our spinner bowled their hearts out and gave everything to the team.

"I certainly feel that I let them down and I've got to wear that. But I'm a big boy and I get another chance next week."

Paine's sledging was not the only tactic that caught the attention of several onlookers.

The stump camera picked up Steve Smith shadow batting on the crease during the afternoon session drinks break, before appearing to scuff up the batsmen's guard with his boots.

When Pant returned to the crease he had to ask the umpire for his guard again. 

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said it was "very, very poor" from former captain Smith, who was banned for a year for his part in the South African ball-tampering scandal.

Ex-Indian opener Virender Sehwag said it showed Australia had "tried all tricks" in the book to unsettle India.