England in Australia 2010-11 January 29, 2011

Pietersen wants England to pull off 'amazing' comeback


Kevin Pietersen is targeting an "amazing" one-day series comeback over the next ten days to give the tour of Australia a perfect finish. England handed themselves a lifeline with a 21-run victory at Adelaide, but still need to win the three remain matches, starting with the game in Brisbane on Sunday, to steal the trophy.

If they can pull it off, it would be a fightback similar to the one England achieved four years ago after appearing down and out during the CB Series before winning two matches to reach the final ahead of New Zealand, and then beating the hosts 2-0. Pietersen missed most of that tournament, having broken a rib in an early match, but has set his sights on a deciding encounter at Perth on February 6.

"It'll be amazing. We were 3-0 down and to be able to fight to the end and turn out in Perth on what could be a final would be incredible. It was nice to win in Adelaide, you always look for momentum but momentum hasn't meant a lot on this trip so far. It's a different ground with different conditions and whoever adjusts best will win tomorrow. We can't afford to lose."

Pietersen has had a mixed series with the bat, beginning with a dominant 78 at the MCG before falling first ball at Hobart. He then missed the Sydney match with a groin strain but returned for Adelaide, where he was caught at long-on for 12.

This series has been Pietersen's comeback into the one-day set-up after he was dropped against Pakistan in September, so he needed a productive series to reaffirm his credentials. England played seven batsmen in the previous match but that's unlikely to be a long-term solution heading into the World Cup, so no one can afford to lose their form at this juncture.

"You are going to get frustrated. I've been playing really nicely and have been on this whole trip so far," Pietersen said. "I was frustrated in Hobart then I'm not sure it was the wrong option the other night but it looked like the wrong option the way I going out, just trying to hit a boundary. But these things happen."

England have a quick turnaround between the end of this tour and the World Cup. The players will have three days at home before departing for the subcontinent to begin preparations, although Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann have been given extra time off for paternity leave.

There are injury concerns over Swann and Tim Bresnan, who flew home from Australia with back and calf injuries respectively, although both remain confident of making the start of the tournament. Pietersen thinks that the enforced breaks can actually benefit England.

"The boys will be fresh, the boys will be firing," he said. "In a weird sort of way it's quite nice that a few guys have had a few games off and been rested and some guys are back in England because they'll come back fresh and rearing to go as soon as we jump on that plane."

Although Pietersen remains desperate to finish this tour on a successful he doesn't think these one-dayers will have a huge bearing on what happens when the World Cup starts. "I'm not sure how vital it will be because conditions will be totally different. I think the first week in the subcontinent when we start getting used to conditions and the make-up of our side, having a full strength team out, that will be really crucial."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    What says KP now???????? Should have waited for today...

  • Marcio on January 30, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    KP heroics notwithstanding, I'm sticking with my original pick for AUS to win this one.

  • Andrew on January 30, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    Kevin needs a little less Fig Jam on his toast each day.

  • John on January 29, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    KP displays once again the fact that his cricketing ability has little or nothing to do with his brain. The time to talk about amazing comebacks is when (if) England have won two more games. Unless or until that happens, focussing on winning the next game might be a good idea. Talking of the next game, I think the Aus selectors should really think hard about resting Lee. He was wild in the last game, which probably means he is tired and was straining a bit too much to keep his pace up. Given his history of injuries, Aus don't want to overburden him before the World Cup (I guess RJHB thinks this series is meaningful, but he's about the only one. How about the ODIs in 2007, when England won- did that mean anything?). MJ will be back and it will be interesting to see if this is his one game in the series in which to bowl well. I think Clarke has captained pretty well and his batting will come around. I liked the balance of the England side last time out- leave it as it is.

  • paul on January 29, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip You better ask those darn reporters, to stop asking for interviews with him. @RJHB What the hell as the Perth pitch got to do with it, if we go by your reasoning,Oz shouldn't of bothered turning up at MCG, SCG and Adelaide.But of course most cricket fans know that Tests and Odi's have little in common.

  • Lalith on January 29, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    Pietersen is trying to follow Ponting & Clerk. Too much talking but doing nothing. I do not think England selectors will be like Aussie selectors. They will drop Pieterson from the team even in the world cup. They have already done it to Pietersen. Therefore Hey Pietersen!!!! Deliver then talk. Do not talk before deliver like Clerk doing after every match.

  • John on January 29, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    @ Jimmers, LOL! The sad thing is that is way too close to being the truth. Poor Watto.

  • Jimmers on January 29, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    Looking forward to another installment of England versus Shane Watson.

  • Lalith on January 29, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    I prefer Poms to win so that series will be alive. But Watson can lead in his home ground.

  • Sharon on January 29, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    I would quite like for Peterson to shut up and play.

  • No featured comments at the moment.