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Ashes 2013: Michael Clarke-Kevin Pietersen ‘tame’ sledging livens up slow day at The Oval

Michael Clarke Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen (left) gets an earful from Australian captain Michael Clarke during Day Three of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval © Getty Images

Aug 24, 2013

Australian captain Michael Clarke exchanged a few words with England batsman Kevin Pietersen during Day Three of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval, before the umpires had to intervene.

The Telegraph reported that Clarke told Pietersen “nobody likes you”, referring to the latter’s text message controversy and split from the England team last year. Pietersen is said to have responded by saying, “you’re the captain and nobody likes you”, referring to Australia’s dressing room troubles which preceded the Ashes tour, which included the sacking of former coach Mickey Arthur.

However, Australian pacer Peter Siddle played down the incident during the post-match press conference, saying that the perceived sledging was “pretty tame”.

The incident occurred in the second session of a day which seemed to progress at a slow pace due to England’s low rate of scoring. The hosts, who already have a 3-0 advantage in the series, ambled along at a rate just above two runs per over as they looked to play Australia out of the match.

At one stage, the sell-out crowd resorted to slow hand-clapping in frustration to the home team’s pace. However, England batsman Joe Root, who scored 68 from 184 balls, hoped that the supporters would understand the reason behind their approach.

“People come to watch the cricket for a number of reasons,” said Root. “We need to play the situation. Fair credit to Australia they bowled well all day and made it hard to score fluently.

“The pitch is slow and hard to time the ball on. We have seen people like Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen score fluently but it was not that easy even for them. We have played pretty well to get to where we have.”

Siddle, meanwhile, said that Australia cannot control England’s rate of scoring.

“If they want to play the way they do, fine. We can’t control it,” said Siddle. “All we can control is getting wickets six wickets and see where the match ends up. We were just asking them what they were up to, if they were thinking of playing a few strokes or push the runs along. It was pretty tame really.”

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