Pietersen takes to twitter to deny taping allegations
ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen hates the media at the best of times, and he doesn't do press unless he has too, such as winning a man of the match award.
Any hopes of a change in that stance look even more remote after Channel Nine implied Pietersen had been using silicon tape on his bat to prevent the detection of edges and cheat Hot Spot during the Ashes series.
The report, which only named Pietersen, also suggested players from both sides also used the tape.
An angry Pietersen took to Twitter to defend himself over the allegation.
"Horrible journalism yet again!" he tweeted.
"My name brought up in hotspot crisis suggesting I use silicon to prevent nicks showing! Such hurtful lies.
"How stupid would I be to try & hide a nick when it could save me on an LBW appeal, like in 1st innings (at Old Trafford) where hotspot showed I nicked it.
"I am never afraid of getting out! If I nick it, I'll walk. To suggest I cheat by covering my bat with silicon infuriates me."
The England and Wales Cricket Board wants an apology and explanation from the broadcaster.
Australian captain Michael Clarke also had his say, insisting none of his squad were cheats.
"I didn't know there was such a thing you could do to hide nicking the ball on Hot Spot," he said.
"I wouldn't think it would make any difference. I've never heard of anyone doing it."
The drama has added more intrigue to the fourth Test which starts in Durham tonight.
Despite rain ending Australia's hopes of winning the Ashes at Old Trafford earlier this week, batsman Steve Smith said there was still plenty to play for.
"It would be nice to get a win on the board here. We're obviously disappointed that last day at Old Trafford. We were clearly in the box position and looking to drive the game forward there," he said.
"That's our sole focus at the moment, to try and win this Test match and then level the series when we go to The Oval."
It won't be easy though, as England has won all four of its Tests at Durham - three have been by an innings - and paceman James Anderson loves the venue.
He has taken 15 wickets in two Tests at an average of 14, his best at any venue.
Australia's only selection decision is whether to include seamer Jackson Bird, the only member of their 12-man squad who did not play in Manchester.
England: Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Jonathan Trott.
Australia: Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.