Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Ranting Kevin Pietersen escapes punishment

England went in to the second Test match today distracted by yet another piece of Twitter twittery.

It was supplied by one of the previous miscreants, Kevin Pietersen, who took it upon himself to berate the groundsman at the Adelaide Oval for his inattention at the practice nets when it rained on Wednesday.

Pietersen tweeted: “What should a groundsmen (sic) make sure he does 2 days before a test match? Cover the nets when it rains maybe? PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!”

Under the 140 character rule that applies to tweets, Pietersen could have added another few exclamation marks.

Since it rained throughout England's training session, they could not have used the outdoor nets in any case and the ground staff eventually put covers on after they had dealt with the pitch on which the Test is being played.

Pietersen's tirade was gratuitous and unnecessary and it was possible to sense the exasperation among his colleagues.

Andrew Strauss, the England captain, was forced to discuss tweeting and its merits rather than his team's preparations for the match.

He tried his best to defend Pietersen, saying he had not breached the Twitter protocol laid down by team management but privately he must have seethed

“Generally he was just frustrated because he wanted to have a long bat yesterday,” said Strauss.

“He vented a bit of frustration, it's not something we want to get overly dragged into. There are degrees of everything and we don't want anything to distract our attention from what's important. I don't think he realised when put it on there, he was just frustrated.”

Strauss, a strict non-tweeter, added: “I wouldn't prefer all of our players to be exactly like me though. Everyone is different and it is a good way of broadening the appeal of the game.”

Why Pietersen did it only he knows. Perhaps he was inadvertently seeking attention after the rest of the batting order grabbed it in Brisbane during the first Test.

The kerfuffle deflected attention from Australia's dramatic decision to drop Mitchell Johnson from the second Test.

Johnson, World Cricketer of the Year a year ago, had a dreadful game in Brisbane.

“It's obviously disappointing but not the end of the world,” said Johnson.

“Getting away from all the hype surrounding the series and getting into the nets and working on it like that is probably the best option for me.”

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