World Test Championship: The AM Show sports host Mark Richardson dismisses Aussie cricket captain Tim Payne in final build-up

The AM Show sports host - and former Blackcaps opening batsman - Mark Richardson has dismissed Aussie cricket captain Tim Paine's forlorn prediction for the World Test Championship final, beginning Friday night (NZ time).

Earlier this week, Paine outraged Kiwi sports fans with his view that India would "pretty comfortably" take out the contest, if they played anywhere near their best, while also undermining New Zealand's recent series victory in England, where the home team was below full strength.

"Ignore him," says Richardson. "The captain of the Australian cricket team is a complete and utter dick."

Paine probably has a vested interest in seeing India win, after Australia's embarrassing 2-1 series loss to them on home soil last summer.

That result - and the cancelled tour of South Africa - effectively ended the Aussies' hopes of contesting the test final, but they certainly weren't helped by a four-point run-rate penalty in the second test at Melbourne. Australia are currently ranked third in world test rankings. 

"I don't really have too much to say to Tim Paine about it," chuckled Blackcaps coach Gary Stead on The AM Show. "Probably going on the results of the last couple of years, I can see why he said that, but this is a one-off test match and anything can happen.

"We're certainly under no illusions over the strength of this Indian side. They are a very, very strong side, and we will need to be very close to our best to compete and put them under pressure."

Paine, 36, was elevated to the national captaincy, as Australian cricket tried to repair its battered reputation, after incumbent Steve Smith was implicated in the 2018 sandpaper scandal.

But the wicketkeeper tarnished his own reputation during that Indian series, when stump microphones caught him viciously sledging opponents during a drawn third test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Paine called tailender Ravi Ashwin a "dickhead" and insisted his Indian teammates didn't like him. He had already been fined for swearing at umpire Paul Wilson, demanding some "f***king consistency" from the decision review system.

"I want to apologise for the way I went about things yesterday," Paine 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."

Join us at 9pm Friday for live updates of the World Test Championship final between the Blackcaps and India