Melbourne: "Have you ever heard of a temporary captain, Mayank (Agarwal)?" Rishabh Pant asked his India teammate while welcoming Australia skipper Tim Paine with a fresh round of banter in the third Test on Saturday.
The Indian wicketkeeper was giving it back to Paine a day after the Australian joked about recruiting Pant to a Big Bash franchise, Hobart Hurricanes, with an offer to baby seat while Paine takes his wife out for movies.
As soon as the 33-year-old walked in and took strike, Pant was heard asking Mayank, who was standing at silly point, "We got a special guest today. Have you ever heard of a temporary captain, ever, Mayank?"
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 29, 2018
The 21-year-old was not done there and told Ravindra Jadeja, who was bowling at the time, that he does not need anything special to get Paine's wicket as he is only good at talking.
"You don't need anything to get him out, boy. He loves to talk, that's the only thing he can do, boy! Only, talking, talking!" he said.
Good-natured they may have been but Pant's banter attracted immediate attention of umpire Ian Gould who cautioned him for his remarks.
No such warning was given to Paine, though, when he sought to distract Pant with some banter of his own on Friday.
Referring to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's inclusion in the ODI squad, Paine on Friday said, "Tell you what big MS is back in the one day squad. Should get this bloke down to Hurricanes. They need a batter."
"Fancy that extend you Aussie holiday, beautiful town Hobart too... get him a water front apartment. Have him over for dinner.
"Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids," Paine had said.
The stump microphones have picked up some interesting exchanges in the course of the series so far, the earlier one being between Paine and Virat Kohli, which turned quite intense at one point.