World Test Championship: Social media turns screws on Aussie captain Tim Paine's wayward prediction

Australia cricket captain Tim Paine's dire forecast of doom for the Blackcaps in their World Test Championship bid has come back to haunt him.

While New Zealand - and much of the cricketing world, it seemed - celebrated their eight-wicket victory over India at Southampton's Aegas Bowl, social media was quick to remind Paine of his somewhat boorish prophecy that the Kiwis would be "comfortably" beaten.

"My prediction is India will win pretty comfortably, if they play anywhere near their best," he told last week.

To be fair, the Indians probably didn't play anywhere near their best, which was an important proviso on Paine's assessment.

But as the Aussie skipper copped the backlash big time on Twitter, he seemed to take the ribbing in good spirits.

"I'm almost feeling sorry for Tim Paine and the barrage of tweets he must be receiving from NZ cricket fans about his prediction of a 'pretty comfortable' India win," tweets @SamSachdeva NZ.

"No need to feel sorry for, Sam" responds Paine. "I'm OK.

"It was great to watch. I'm sure you have predicted incorrectly in sports before."

Paine has become a polarising figure, since inheriting the Australian leadership from Steve Smith, after the 2018 sandpaper scandal in South Africa.

His appointment was designed to help rebuild Aussie cricket's tattered reputation, but his own performance has come under intense scrutiny, especially during last summer's contentious home series against India, which saw the injury-plagued tourists snatch an unlikely 2-1 series victory.

In Sydney, stump microphones caught Paine viciously sledging Indian tailender Ravi Ashwin, calling him a "dickhead" and insisting his own teammates didn't like him. He had already been fined for swearing at umpire Paul Wilson.

"I want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday," Paine, 36, apologised afterwards. "I'm someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of the team.

"I've had a really poor game as a leader. Yesterday, I fell short of my expectations and our team's standards."

Under Paine's captaincy, Australia were also docked four championship points for bowling their overs too slowly in Melbourne, a penalty that essentially cost them a place in the test final.

The AM Show sports host and former Blackcaps opener Mark Richardson referred to Paine as a "complete, utter dick" for his prediction