A war of words has erupted between former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and England’s Kevin Pietersen over the tactics used against spinner Nathan Lyon.
Pietersen criticised England’s strategy against the Aussie spinner, and claimed the man nicknamed the ‘GOAT’ had “zero variations”.
“Can SOMEONE please smack Lyon?!?!! FFS! Off spinner with zero variations and bowling on world crickets flattest road!!!!” he posted.
But Ponting quickly returned fire in defence of Lyon.
“Four-hundred Test wickets, Kev,” Ponting said on 7.
“Lyon to Pietersen — Lyon got him four times for 163 runs and at the Adelaide Oval, the world’s flattest cricket wicket, Kevin Pietersen none for 14 off 23 balls with 15 dots and only one boundary. Come on Kev.”
Moments after Pietersen’s Tweet was broadcast on 7Cricket, Lyon snared back-to-back wickets to leave the visitors reeling at 8/204.
“I wonder if Kev’s still watching. The GOAT’s just taken another one,” Ponting quipped.
“This is off spin of the highest class.”
Former England spinner Graeme Swann admitted he was “screaming at my TV” but was full of praise for Lyon.
“It’s back to the bad old days for England, so defensive, so negative. I mean, stupid mistakes,” he said on 7Cricket.
“Nathan (Lyon) has done an unbelievable job, especially in Australia where it is very hard to bowl spin. He’s not your normal off spinner because he is not really a square spinner of the ball, he gets a lot of top spin.”
Pietersen didn’t stop with criticism of Lyon, and claimed fans were “foolish” if they believed England could compete against Australia given the current COVID climate.
“Foolish to even think England were going to properly compete in this #Ashes with everything else that’s happening off the field,” he posted.
“Much easier for Aus at HOME! Way harder for ENG with all the nonsense that’s happening here!”