If anyone thought the sledging between Australia’s Tim Paine and India’s Rishabh Pant was serious, this photo will prove otherwise.
The wicketkeepers spent much of the third Test gabbing in one another’s ear, with Paine for example asking Pant if he would like to extend his stay in Australia to help him with babysitting duties.
But if the exchanges seemed fiery on the pitch, this picture from Paine’s wife Bonnie – posted to Instagram Stories on New Year’s Day – suggests it’s all just a bit of fun.
The sledging between the pair added a bit of spice to the third Test, with the series then tied at 1-1.
Paine’s tactics nearly worked, with Pant almost holing out to mid-off.
But the Australian didn’t have it all his own way, with Pant getting the right to reply when India bowled.
India eventually triumphed by 137 runs to take a 2-1 series lead ahead of the fourth and final Test.
But whatever the result, it looks like the heat of battle has produced a new friendship as well as a great contest.