Michael Vaughan has criticised Jonny Bairstow's "negative, pathetic mindset" after the England opener said people were waiting for the World Cup host to fail at the tournament.
England's hopes of progressing to the semifinals have been dealt a major blow with successive defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia.
Asked about Kevin Pietersen's accusation captain Eoin Morgan looked "scared" and comments from Vaughan in which the former skipper said the competition could "turn out to be top of the tree" in terms of "atrocious World Cups," Bairstow claimed: "People were waiting for us to fail. They are not willing us on to win."
Vaughan, who represented England at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, captaining them in the latter, quickly hit back on Friday.
He posted a screen capture of Bairstow's comments on Instagram with the caption: "How wrong can @jbairstow21 be .. Never has [the] England team had so much support but it's you and your team that has disappointed Jonny .. WIN 2 games and you are in the semis .. With this negative, pathetic mindset I am concerned though .. it's not the media's fault you have lost 3 games .. !!!"
England is fourth in the World Cup table with eight points from seven games and faces a huge clash against unbeaten India at Edgbaston on Sunday, with Bairstow set to open for a batting line-up that has failed to chase down sub-300 totals in back-to-back matches.
Morgan's side will complete its group-stage campaign against New Zealand at The Riverside on Wednesday, with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka all still in the hunt to deny it a semifinal place.
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