Australia captain Tim Paine has been at the receiving end of criticism for his conduct during the third Test against India that concluded on Monday with an epic draw. Paine was fined for showing dissent to umpire and then on a tense final day, he was caught by stump mic hurling abuse at Ravichandran Ashwin.

Injury-plagued India fought back on the final day as they finished on 334/5 in chase of 407 keeping Australian bowlers at bay. Rishabh Pant, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari combined to produce a memorable performance at the Sydney Cricket Ground leaving the hosts frustrated.

And now, Paine, who called an un scheduled media interaction on Tuesday, has apologised for his behaviours admitting the pressure got to him. “I’m someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection,” Paine said. “My leadership wasn’t good enough, I let the pressure of the game get to me. It affected my mood and then from there affected my performance. I said to our players yesterday ‘I’ve had a really poor game as a leader’.”

“I let our group down. I’m human, I want to apologise for the mistakes that I made,” he added.

Paine’s exchange with Ashwin late into the day grabbed the headlines.

During the 122nd over of Indian innings, the Aussie took a jibe saying he cannot wait to get to Gabba. In reply, Ashwin said should Paine tour India next, it will be his final series as Australia cricketer.

That didn’t end there with Paine calling Ashwin ‘d***head*.

However, after the contest ended, the duo was seen sharing a laugh seemingly leaving the tense exchange behind them.

Paine revealed he spoke to Ashwin after the play saying,”‘I ended up looking the fool, didn’t I?’ You open your mouth and then you drop a catch. We had a bit of a laugh about that.”

The 36-year-old also spoke to Australia head coach Justin Langer on Monday regarding his conduct.

“I raised it with him (Langer on Monday night). My mood throughout the whole Test match was probably a little bit off. I’m normally a pretty relaxed person. When we were batting in this Test, I was on edge. I was wandering around the change rooms, couldn’t sit still, couldn’t watch and I think that added to the tension. I pride myself on, if anything, taking the tension out of our change room,” he said.

The series is all square at one-all with the fourth and final Test set to get underway from January 15 in Brisbane.