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Michael Vaughan says Australia are better team from top to bottom


Former England skipper Michael Vaughan made the frankest of admissions at the end of day three in the second Ashes Test, conceding that the hosts are simply the better team from top to bottom.

“The honest facts are that Australia are a better cricket team in all facets of Test cricket,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter.

“No point in making excuses,the Aussies are just a lot better.”

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But where Vaughan was resigned, Kevin Pietersen was once again digging in on social media.

The England great has been extremely vocal during the series, and popped up again on Saturday morning UK time.

Pietersen was perturbed at England’s slow run rate during the second session, particularly against the off-spinner.

“Can SOMEONE please smack Lyon?!?!! FFS!” He wrote on Twitter.

“Off spinner with zero variations and bowling on world crickets flattest road!!!!”

Australian journalist Nic Savage quickly pointed out that Lyon had actually taken KP’s wicket four times, with only Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Saeed Ajmal being more successful.

Pietersen bit straight back, saying that you needed to look at the context of those wickets — and he may have a point.

During the 2013 Ashes in England and 2013-14 series in Australia when they crossed paths, Pietersen was dismissed by Lyon four times, but did take 163 off the spinner’s bowling at a strike rate of more than 70.

Lyon knocks over Chris Woakes with brilliant ball

The timing couldn’t have been much worse for Pietersen — Lyon bowled Chris Woakes shortly after, and then took his third wicket of the innings in his following over.

On BT Sport’s coverage Sir Alastair Cook, alongside former teammate Matt Prior, said the decision to bat again allowed another avenue of escape for England.

“The draw wouldn’t have been an option if they hadn’t enforced the follow on,” Cook said.

“England now, in the morning, they’ve got a game plan, in one sense. They’ve got 180 overs, they’ve got to make every run Australia score as hard as they can, that will try and delay, that’s got to be a tactic, try and delay Australia from making that declaration.

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“Obviously Steve Smith will have a bit of a number, make that as long [as possible], and then it’s over my dead body batting stuff.”

It would be an incredible feat for England to force a draw, or god forbid, win the match.

“If you stop believing, you may as well give up,” Prior added.

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