Kevin Pietersen has come to the defence of English keeper Jos Buttler, who sparked outrage with his expletive-laden sledging to Vernon Philander in the second Test at Newlands.
The incident came with just less than 20 overs to play, with Philander looking to lead South Africa to a draw, while the English were fighting to claim the the final three wickets for victory.
As the ball is thrown back to Buttler, Philander gets slightly in the way, setting off the English keeper on a tirade in which he can be clearly heard calling him a ‘f***ing knobhead’ before saying ‘get past that f***ing gut’.
Former Bok World Cup-winning captain John Smit was one of the people to call out Buttler for his actions, highlighting the fact it was Philander’s final Test on his home ground.
No man, this can’t be, not to a guy in his last test on his home ground after an outstanding career. https://t.co/mpKQLJJVIn
— John Smit (@JohnSmit123) January 7, 2020
Former Proteas star Dale Steyn was another who tweeted about the incident.
Well, that was loud and clear. https://t.co/Mr7ZftfUUg
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) January 7, 2020
Yet, on Wednesday, Pietersen took to social media to suggest there was nothing particularly untoward about Buttler’s actions.
‘LOTS having a go at @josbuttler here!’ Pietersen tweeted. ‘LEAVE HIM ALONE! This is Test Cricket and believe me, this is nothing compared to lots that goes on, on the field. Series is alive big time!
LOTS having a go at @josbuttler here!
LEAVE HIM ALONE!
This is Test Cricket and believe me, this is nothing compared to lots that goes on, on the field.
Series is alive big time!
END OF! pic.twitter.com/vSh4zDL1AY
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 8, 2020
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images