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Warne downplays Tweet row with Ponting

AFP
Oct 14, 2010 at 08:53am IST

Sydney: Australian cricket legend Shane Warne on Thursday said he was still "mates" with Test captain Ricky Ponting despite a public slanging match over tactics during the series wipeout against India.

The retired leg-spinner said he had made up with Ponting after voicing tough criticism over this week's bruising seven-wicket loss in Bangalore, which concluded on Wednesday.

"We're mates; we're going to disagree a few times. It doesn't mean we suddenly hate each other and things like that," Warne, 41, told an Australia's TV channel.

Warne downplays Tweet row with Ponting

Warne said he had made up with Ponting after criticising Australia's crushing defeat against India in Bangalore.

"Me and Punter (Ponting) swapped a few SMS's last night," he explained. Warne sent a series of controversial messages over micro-blogging site Twitter during the Bangalore defeat criticising Ponting's field placements for spinner Nathan Hauritz.

"How the hell can Hauritz bowl to this field??" he tweeted. "Feeling for Hauritz, terrible!! What are these tactics? Sorry Ricky, but what are you doing?"

Ponting, who led Australia in a 2-0 series defeat, later responded by telling Warne to check his facts. "Every field that Nathan has had to bowl with since he's been here has been at his request - it's the field he wants to bowl to," said Ponting.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Shane would take the time to ask anyone about that."

Warne also described the series defeat, which sent Australia down to fifth in the Test rankings, as "not great". But he backed the once-mighty team to regain the Ashes against England in a home series starting next month.

"Australia are always tough to beat at home. They're a pretty proud team," he said. "We've always been like that over the past 20-odd years that I've been playing. I think we'll give the Poms (England) a run for their money out here."

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