England great Kevin Pietersen has launched a vicious takedown of his country’s cricket team, saying they are carrying on like they are “the greatest” side in the world.
In the aftermath of the dramatic loss at Lord’s, Pietersen says the English team needs to stop talking the talk, and start walking the walk.
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He said they were putting needless pressure on themselves, while the Australians were quick to seize moments and “get their foot on the throat”.
“If you’re going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk, and this England cricket team isn’t walking the walk,” Pietersen wrote in his column for betting agency Betway.
“They’re acting like they’re the greatest team around, but they’re currently on course to be the first England team to lose at home to Australia since 2001.”
Kevin Pietersen says England players need to stop putting pressure on themselves. Credit: Getty Images
Tensions were already high after the first Test following England quick Ollie Robinson’s X-rated send-off to Aussie star batter Usman Khawaja.
But the flashpoint was reached when wicketkeeper Alex Carey controversially stumped England counterpart Jonny Bairstow on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s
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With the third Test at Headingley to start on Thursday, England have reportedly made several changes to the team.
Vice-captain Ollie Pope is out for the remainder of the Ashes after the top-order batter succumbed to a dislocated shoulder in two separate incidents in the Lord’s Test.
As the only reserve batter in their squad, Dan Lawrence replace Pope, while there are report Moeen Ali (blistered finger) will get the nod after missing the last Test, and Chris Woakes and Mark Wood could also be added to the line-up.
James Anderson and Josh Tongue are likely to make way.
No matter the line-up, Pietersen said the team needed to find more “mongrel” in their approach.
The Ashes series reached a flashpoint when Jonny Bairstow was stumped on the final day at Lord’s. Credit: Getty Images
“I called England’s declaration at Edgbaston one of the craziest decisions in Ashes history, and now we see how this Australia team put their foot down when they get the opportunity,” Pietersen said.
“When they get their foot on the throat, they will absolutely push and push and push to destroy you. That’s how they play this sport. They have that mongrel in them.
“I don’t see the mongrel in the England cricket team. There’s so much relaxed talk. It’s like, ‘Hey, this is the coolest environment, we’re having the best time ever.’ Unfortunately, all that matters is winning.
“I want to see less talking and more walking. That should be the message that is reverberating around that England team right now.”
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