England v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Headingley, 1st day August 4, 2006

Pietersen ready to resume after cramps



Kevin Pietersen is fit to pick up where he left off© Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen was adamant that he would be fit to resume his innings on the second day of the third Test between England and Pakistan at Headingley, after retiring hurt with cramp shortly after recording his fifth Test century.

"I'm facing the first ball tomorrow unless something drastic happens to me this evening," Pietersen confirmed, after the late dismissal of Matthew Hoggard left England handily placed on 347 for 6 at stumps. "I was [scheduled to go] in before Hoggard and after [Chris] Read," he added, "but then we used the nightwatchman for the last five overs."

Pietersen enjoyed a charmed life in his innings, surviving a clear-cut appeal for caught-behind on 2 followed by a dismissal off a no-ball, and then, on the stroke of his eventual retirement, he was dropped at midwicket by Salman Butt.

"It did inconvenience me because that's why I came off the field," explained Pietersen, who had called for treatment on his forearm three times in a single over as he raced through the 90s with a series of typically bombastic shots. "Instinct and adrenalin took over," he added, "but after each shot, [my forearm] would freeze into a certain position. It wasn't fun and it's certainly never happened before."

"I couldn't grip the bat as well as I should have done," he continued. "I had some treatment but I had to come off. I've had it needled and massaged and hopefully with some rest and more treatment, I'll be able to face the first ball tomorrow."

Pietersen was satisfied with his performance in typically tough, overcast conditions at Headingley. "I was happy to get out there and play," he said. "Other batsmen have been fantastic this series, so it's nice to get another hundred. I'm really satisfied with this one, especially after getting 20,30, 40 in my last innings. Hopefully, if Ian [Bell] and I can bat for an hour or more in the first session, we can get a score in excess of 400."

"That's the first time I've ever suffered with cramps in my life," claimed Pietersen. "I think the problem today was that I didn't have lunch, I don't generally eat when I'm batting, and I had breakfast at 8am. It's probably just my salt levels, because my fluids were perfect and my urine was crystal clear."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo