Cricket: Sunil Gavaskar launches attack on 'hopeless' Tim Paine's captaincy credentials

Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has launched an extraordinary attack on Australian captain Tim Paine, labelling the wicketkeeper-batsman "hopeless".

The player-turned-commentator believes the clock is ticking on Paine's tenure as skipper and believes the upcoming fourth test between the two countries in Brisbane will be his last. 

Currently in Australia working for Channel 7, Gavaskar was disgusted by Paine's verbal barbs at Ravichandran Ashwin in the final session of the third test in Sydney.

Gavaskar says Paine should have worried about setting attacking fields, not trying to unsettle the unflappable Indian spinner.

"As a captain, [Paine’s] got no tactical nous at all,” Gavaskar has told India Today.

"I mean, when you’re having somebody like a Mitchell Starc or a Pat Cummins, with the kind of pace and bounce that they generate, not to have a fielder in the leg gully to Indians who are not very tall... it just tells you that you have no idea about captaincy.

“Even towards the end, when it was clearly obvious that India was looking to save the game, and not go and win it, he had a cover, when that man could have been bought in.

“Because, even if a boundary had been hit, it wasn’t going to affect the Australians.

"He could’ve had two men around the corner and there were a couple of chances that could have been taken if an extra man had been there.

“So as a captain, well, he’s hopeless and he’s probably captaining for the last time in this series from a tactical point of view."

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar Photo credit: Getty

Paine has apologised for his sledging tactics, admitting he failed as a player and a leader during the final day's play.

But Gavaskar says Paine's word's mean nothing now and time has run out on his era as Australian captain.

“How can you allow the Indian team to bat 130-odd overs without getting 10 wickets - this is a very good Australian attack,” he says.

"Paine was more interested in talking to the batsman, rather than his field placing and bowling changes, so I won’t be surprised if there is a change in the Australian captaincy after the series. 

"He was a little bit disturbed, his concentration was not there, after that little episode."

The series-deciding test starts on Friday.