Kevin Pietersen labels Australian groundstaff 'pathetic'
Wednesday 01 December 2010
Batsman Kevin Pietersen labelled groundstaff at Australia's Adelaide Oval "pathetic" after England's practice session was forced indoors due to rain just two days before the start of the second Ashes test.
The former captain was unhappy that the nets were uncovered for a period during afternoon showers on Wednesday and vented his frustration on his Twitter account.
"What should a groundsman make sure he does two days out from a test match?," he said to his 94,000 followers in his first tweet. "Cover the nets when it rains maybe?"
He ended with: "PATHETIC!"
Pietersen was fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in September for using the social networking Website to announce he had been dropped from the team for the first time in his career.
Earlier on Wednesday, Australia were able to complete their nets session in the open air.
Under pressure fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, who took one wicket between them in the drawn opening test, watched from the sidelines as possible replacements Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris impressed.
Vice captain Michael Clarke gave Bollinger and Harris a vote of confidence.
"They're both class acts, no doubt," Clarke told reporters. "They've both had success in international cricket, whether that be one day or tests.
"They're both looking forward to an opportunity, and the selectors have obviously got a tough job."
Johnson was heavily criticised by Australian media for his wicketless performance in Brisbane, where he conceded 170 runs, and his place looks most at threat.
However, with Australia taking just one English wicket in two days of toil in the field only paceman Peter Siddle, who took a hat-trick and 6-54 in the first innings, can consider his place safe.
"We've got a pretty good squad, we've got five fast bowlers to choose from plus Watto (Shane Watson) and a couple of spinners, Xavier (Doherty) and (Marcus) North, Katto (Simon Katich) and maybe a couple of part-timers," Clarke said.
"We're confident we can get the right 11 and take 20 wickets out there."
Clarke spent a long time in the nets on Wednesday, proving his fitness after back trouble. He also worked on his batting with skipper Ricky Ponting after scoring a disappointing nine runs at the Gabba.
"I was getting him (Ponting) to throw me a few balls and get him to have a look and see what his thoughts were," Clarke said.
"He was just mentioning that I was a bit low in my stance, so I just tried to stand a little bit taller and see if it worked.
"I felt a little bit better, if you saw my net session I struggled at the start there and felt like it got better throughout a pretty long net session so that was good."
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