Football: Wellington Phoenix defender Tim Payne sees funny side of Indian cricket fans' sledging

Wellington Phoenix defender Tim Payne sees the funny side of Indian cricket fans sledging him on social media, after he was mistaken for Australian cricket captain Tim Paine.

The Phoenix defender responded to most of the brutal posts his Twitter account in a jovial manner, after the Aussie cricketers lost a nail-biting test series to an injury-plagued India earlier this week, and tells Newshub that he enjoyed the banter. 

"It was a pretty funny ordeal," Payne says. 'I woke up one morning to my Instagram going off. 

"I think I had over 400 comments on a photo and then over 100 message requests, so they've obviously mistaken me for Australian cricketer Tim Payne. 

Some of the accusations levelled at Payne were cutting, but the Kiwi took it in his stride, although he still struggles to fathom how he became the target. 

"They had no idea," he says. "I'm not too sure how that happens, but there has been a few mistaken identities when it comes to cricket.

"Indians are just jumping on anything, just searching a name. 

"It's pretty funny - I think I've been accused of having plastic surgery done and switching careers and being a multi-sport athlete."

The Australian captain has been subject to online abuse from Indian cricket fans, as well as the Australian public, after India pulled off a remarkable fourth-test victory in Brisbane to capture the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1. 

As wicketkeepers love to do, Paine annoyed the Indian players and most cricket fans with his chatter from behind the stumps in the third test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

He entered a verbal altercation with India's Ravichandran Ashwin, calling the offspinner a "d***head" and saying: "We can’t wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash."

Indian fans didn't notice the different spelling of the two players' last names, so when they found the Paine's Instagram page on private, they turned their attention to the Phoenix defender.

The 17-cap All White was happy the attacks weren't aimed at him, but could understand how tough it would be for the Aussie captain right now. 

"I thought it was a bit of a laugh, as it's obviously not directed at me, so it's not too bad," he says. "For him, if he's on his social media accounts, it'll be pretty tough, but it was all pretty funny for me."

Payne wasn't the only namesake to be tortured online by Indian cricket faithful.

According to ChronicleLive, Newcastle Falcons rugby coach Tim Payne has received more than 600 messages and comments on Instagram over the last few days.

Payne even tweeted Australian captain Paine, seeking help from the influx of messages.

“Hi@tdpaine36, can you help me out here. I’m doing my best. Hope you’re well.”