Tim Paine has hit back at the Barmy Army after they mocked the Australia captain's Test record, pointing out that England skipper Joe Root has scored almost as many runs this year as Paine has in his entire career.
In a post on social media, the Barmy Army wrote: "If Joe Root scores 80 more runs than Tim Paine in the first 2 Ashes Tests, his 2021 Test runs will be higher than Paine's career Test runs."
In 35 Tests, Paine has scored just 1,534 Test runs and failed to make a single hundred.
Root, meanwhile, has scored 1,455 Test runs this year, including six centuries.
However, Paine pointed out that the pair play different roles for their respective sides, calling himself a "small piece in our jigsaw".
Speaking on SEN Hobart, Paine said: "I'd like to say 'apples and oranges' but it's not even that.
"The Barmy Army watch a lot of cricket, you would think they would understand the game a little bit better than that. I've got 1534 more runs than the Barmy Army.
"Joe Root – if he wasn't scoring more runs than me they'd have a serious issue, wouldn't they?
"They rely on him to win games of cricket with the bat, I'm a small piece in our jigsaw. The Barmy Army enjoy poking fun at me, but that's fine."
Paine also called the Barmy Army unoriginal, but admitted that it will be a shame that travel restrictions mean they are unlikely to be able to travel to Australia for the Ashes.
"It's actually a bit sad to be honest, because it does really add to the atmosphere, and they are excellent at what they do," he added.
"Granted, they do re-use a lot of chants from the English Premier League, I don't think they've come up with too much original in the last 20 years. But they're excellent, brilliant to have at a cricket ground."
In response to Paine's comments, the Barmy Army tweeted: "Mission: Get inside @tdpaine36's head before the Ashes.
"Mission complete. P.S. Sir Alastair is an honorary member Painey."
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