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The Meanest, Cleverest, Funniest Cricket Sledge Of The Year

Mark our words, this is the moment that will make Tim Paine's reputation.

Australian cricket captain Tim Paine has been very chirpy this Test match.

For four days now in Perth, he has entered into banter battles with the Indians, and mostly come out on top.

Late yesterday -- as we told you this morning in our live "good areas" coverage -- he either called Indian captain Virat Kohli a "bighead" or a "d***head", depending on what you heard.

But now, something magnificent. After Virat Kohli was out today, caught at slip off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, Paine delivered this sparkling gem of a quip to Indian batsman Murali Vijay:

"I know he's your captain but you can't seriously like him as a bloke."

Now THAT, people, is a sledge.

It's cheeky but not rude. It's not a slur on anyone's race, beliefs, family members or anything personal.

It's just calling a bloke a dud bloke in the most excellent playful way.

Paine, you'll recall, pledged to be the face of a nicer, more fan-friendly Aussie team this year in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

READ MORE: Only one in 20 people know who Tim Paine is

Let's go over that players' pact he unveiled after the review into Australian cricket culture in the wake of the the ball-tampering scandal. It read:

"We recognise how lucky we are to play this great game. We respect the game and its traditions. We want to make all Australians proud."

So are we proud of him after this?

Well, like it or not, one of the age old traditions of cricket is sledging, as anyone who's ever found their tongue wagging on a cricket field -- as it inevitably does after six hours in the hot sun -- will tell you.

You've just got to get the tome of your sledging right. And judging by the reactions of most people today, Tim Paine did.

READ MORE: Our live "good areas" coverage of day four is here.