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December 23, 2009
Kevin Pietersen has backed the actions of Jonathan Trott in standing his ground during their run-out mix-up at Centurion, which ended a partnership of 145 that was taking England towards a comfortable draw in the opening Test against South Africa.
Pietersen was on 81 when, shortly after tea, he pushed the ball into the off side and sprinted for a single, but didn't realise that Friedel de Wet, the bowler, could intercept the ball in his follow through. Pietersen continued to charge up the pitch which left Trott with a decision whether to sacrifice himself or preserve his wicket.
Trott chose the latter by dropping his bat in the crease and continued to use up valuable time in a stand with Paul Collingwood before falling to the second new-ball to begin England's late collapse.
"There wasn't a run there, he did the right thing and I was the one sent packing," Pietersen said. "Hopefully it won't happen again because we enjoyed batting together. We were trying to keep the South Africans quiet but they had a good go at us the last hour.
"It was just a case of rotating the strike. We had been doing it the whole the game and it was a case of playing the ball into the off side and running. I couldn't really hear him [Trott] shouting and the South Africans were also shouting. It was my mistake, I hold my hands up, but these things happen and hopefully we can form a great partnership again."
"It wasn't something I wanted to do. Trotty and I were doing so well for the team and we were in such a comfortable position to take something really positive out of the Test. But we still got a positive draw out of it and these mistakes happen and hopefully they won't happen again."
Pietersen wants TV to check no-balls
Much is always made of whenever Pietersen returns to Durban but he admits this Test "will be special". Ten years ago he played against the England touring side, captained by Nasser Hussain, for KwaZulu-Natal, scoring an unbeaten 61 at No. 9 alongside figures of 4 for 141. It was during that time that he began enquiring about opportunities in county cricket and the rest, as they say, is history.
"It is incredible. But life changes, these things happen," he said. "Who knows where all of us are going to be in 10 years' time. My life has turned around in a big, big way from running around here as a kid to where I am now. I love it; I would never ever change anything."
However, he insisted the prospect of making Test runs where he used to play as a youngster is no different than any other occasion he has played for England. "I love getting Test runs at The Oval; I love getting Test runs at Lord's; I love getting Test runs anywhere, I don't mind. Here is absolutely no different."
But Graeme Smith hopes that Pietersen's latest homecoming can be used as an advantage by South Africa. "If he is carrying any emotions in this Test the better for us," he said.
This Test will also bring the curtain down on a difficult year for Pietersen. He began as England captain before losing the position after the fall-out with Peter Moores and Pietersen was his normal, strutting self on the Caribbean tour. Then he was troubled by the Achilles injury - the first major injury problem in his career - and he missed the final three Ashes Test and only returned to action last month.
"I just see every day as a challenge," he said. "To be back playing Test cricket is something that I love doing and something I'm very fortunate to be doing. It's not something I take for granted. 2009 hasn't been the most fantastic time but I'm still playing cricket for England, we all love playing for England and are very privileged. This year hasn't been fun, but hey-ho, life isn't always good."
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