If you thought Indian fans were feeling heartbroken and despondent watching their team's top-order crumble against New Zealand's bowling in the first semi-final of ICC 2019 World Cup, just look at what Kevin Pietersen was going through. The former England batsman put out an angry tweet in which he vented his spleen at Rishabh Pant for getting out while attempting a big hit over midwicket.
"How many times have we seen Rishabh Pant do that?????!!!!! The very reason he wasn't picked initially!" Pietersen wrote, ending his comment with the word "Pathetic!"
Pant came in to bat at no. 4 position after the loss of Virat Kohli's wicket in the Indian innings. The team score was 5/2 in the 2.4 overs at that time. Soon, the score turned to 24/4 and India seemed headed towards annihilation in their innings. But then, Pant, together with Hardik Pandya started steadying the ship. The two men batted slowly but assuredly and took the score to 71 in 22.4 overs.
But pressure was starting to build as Mitchell Santner, New Zealand's soul spinner was introduced into the attack and he bowled a maiden in his first over. In his second over, which was the 23rd of the innings, he bowled four dot balls and Pant, looking to break the shackles, decided to attempt a big slog sweep over midwicket. Unfortunately for the Delhi-based batsman, he ended up giving an easy catch to the fielder at deep midwicket.
Pietersen's reaction to this occurrence must have left many people surprised as it was he who had been barracking for Pant to be brought into the Indian team. Perhaps, the former England captain was feeling let down by the 21-year old batsman.
There were many responses to KP's tweet, including one from former India international Yuvraj Singh. The recently-retired all-rounder politely expressed his disagreement with his former rival. "He's played 8 ODIs! It's not his fault he will learn and get better it's not pathetic at all! However, we all are entitled to share our opinions," Yuvi wrote in response.
Later, Pietersen probably realised that he had been a bit over the top in his reaction and replied to Yuvraj's comment by writing: "My criticism comes out of frustration because of how good he is, mate. He does it sooooo many times! Let's hope he learns FAST!" Yuvi responded with "I agree" to conclude the Twitter conversation.