The Ashes 2013-14 December 24, 2013

'I'm as good as gold' - Pietersen

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It was lost amid the din but, in 2012, with his career hanging by a thread, Kevin Pietersen made a point that has largely been vindicated.

Scrape away at the surface of the "text-gate" debacle and the "it's not easy being me" press conference and Pietersen had one prescient opinion: he was tired and needed a break. He felt he needed to cut down on his playing commitments.

Now, as the best England team for many years disintegrates, their minds and bodies prematurely aged by the erosive nature of the treadmill on which they live, it has become increasingly obvious that too much is asked of too few. Pietersen may have expressed himself clumsily but he had a point.

Certainly, there was a desultory air to England's training session at the MCG on Christmas Eve. While the bowlers, Ben Stokes in particular, were permitted to bowl no-ball after no-ball without intervention, Alastair Cook continued to cut a painfully out of form figure with the bat. Even Joe Root is beginning to look careworn.

Meanwhile the bowlers warmed up for the challenge of batting against Mitchell Johnson and co. by facing the part-time spin of Joe Root and Gary Ballance. It was like preparing to wrestle a tiger by playing with a kitten.

All of which led to the observation: if Graeme Swann or Jonathan Trott had been used a little more sparingly, might they still be fit and firing as part of this Ashes squad?

At least Pietersen has confirmed that he has no intention of following Swann into retirement in the near future. Pietersen, one of only five England players to have scored over 8,000 Test runs, insisted he was "as good as gold" in terms of his enthusiasm and commitment to international cricket and reiterated his desire to continue.

While he admitted he had, to date, endured a disappointing Ashes series, he claimed he was batting "as well as ever" and insisted he would continue to bat in the positive manner which has characterised his career.

So far in this series, Pietersen has registered just one half-century and has been accused of recklessness after playing shots that contributed to his dismissal in five of his six innings. Twice he has been caught attempting to hook or pull, twice he has been caught attempting to flick through midwicket and once he has been caught at long-on trying to clear the fielder positioned for the shot. Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott labelled him "a mug" in his column in the Daily Telegraph and called for his omission from the side.

"I'm 33 years of age," Pietersen said. "I'm batting as well as I've ever batted. I'll retire when I can't get up to play for England. I'm as good as gold at the moment.

"I felt like a clown in Adelaide - when I hit that ball to midwicket off Peter Siddle - I just didn't feel good at the crease at all. Some days you have them. Every other time I've batted on this trip, I've felt really, really good. I've got myself in every time I've batted and a couple of times I've got out, and a couple of other times fortune didn't favour the brave.

"It's just a case of making sure I keep doing what I do because it's proved successful. If the situation dictates a certain way that I play, I've proved over the last however many years that I'll play to the situation of the game. I haven't got 100. Who knows? I might get one on Thursday and we might be sitting here, all nice and happy.

"I have the greatest admiration for Geoffrey Boycott, what he achieved for England, but I think the way Geoffrey played and the way I play are totally different. I said after the first or second Test, that you have good days, you take all the plaudits, you have bad ones, you take all the criticism, and I've had a couple of bad days. I'm so cool with it."

While the England camp will be relieved to hear of Pietersen's commitment, they may be less than overwhelmed by the manner he dealt with questions about Swann.

Offered the opportunity to douse suggestions that Swann's "heads up their own backsides" comment was aimed at him, Pietersen instead fanned the flames. Instead of saying 'Swann made it clear those words were not aimed at anyone in the England dressing room' - a reply he could and should have given - Pietersen instead replied: "There's a lot worse things I've been called."

"You should come and field with me on Thursday or Friday and see what I get called on the boundary," Pietersen said. "Yesterday was a family day and I'm not giving any energy to what happened. The only energy I've got on this tour left in me is for Melbourne on the 26th, training today, training tomorrow, and Sydney."

It is no secret that Swann and Pietersen are unlikely to spend their retirements embarking on bivouacking trips together. It is usually suggested that they are two vastly different characters with little common ground, though it may be that, in reality, they actually were rather too alike to enjoy such close proximity.

It need not matter. It is a fallacy to presume that all the individuals within a team need to forge close relationships off the pitch. The fact is that Swann and Pietersen found a way to work together constructively for the benefit of their team. Any post-career sparring they engage in is likely to be of little benefit to either of them.

There was better news of Stuart Broad. He bowled nicely and came through a fielding session unscathed to increase his chances of playing on Thursday, while Ian Bell took Swann's position at second slip in the catching sessions. Quite who will field at short-leg remains unclear.

Such issues are relative details among the problems England have to face. The most pressing is how they are to score enough runs to put Australia under pressure. It is now 23 innings and nearly 10 months since England reached 400.

"We've been hurt," Pietersen said. "We've been hurt big time here. Deep down, we are hurting as international sportsmen, as proud sportsmen and sportsmen who have achieved a hell of a lot over the last four or five years.

"I do think this team acknowledges we need to play a lot better this week. We owe it to ourselves and to a lot of people who've paid a lot of money to come and watch us.

"We've proved we're world-class players. You don't play three Test matches and become horrendous cricketers; you don't turn up on an Australian tour and lose whatever we lost - 5-0 in 2006/07 - and never have a good day in your career again.

"I wake up every single day trying to improve. There's a bunch of blokes in that dressing room trying to make ourselves better people and better players every single day. The pride is there; the passion is there.

"When you lose, there's a lot of people taking pot shots at a dressing room. I've been in unsuccessful English dressing rooms, all around the world. I've also been in really good ones, and the way these guys are taking it now is really well."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • lillee4PM on December 26, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    'I'm as good as gold' - Pietersen. Gold price has slumped from $1900 to $1200 and pretty much describes the direction of KP's career!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 25, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    I believe the results so far are because Australia have been able to play with a high intensity and create unbearable pressure. England haven't faced such brilliant opposition before so it's not that they are playing badly, just that they are out of their depth at this level. I think Australia will go to SA and deal them a similar fate to show that under Lehmann they have regenerated into the number 1 team in the world. I sense many Ashes series to come will be a complete mismatch that Australia will cruise through.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Well, with worlds best pace attack sensing the kill and Siddle licking his chops KP could be as good as gone by end of the Ashes.

  • JG2704 on December 25, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    @ latecut_04 - It's exactly how Landl says it is. Aus are playing many times better and he does indicate this in the 2nd paragraph.But Eng have been worse too.The fact that Ben Stokes is the only player to get a ton in 6 inns (great effort ) also says as much about our batsmen.Trott (who I backed to have a good series - doh) has gone but we still have 3 senior batsmen (4 if you include Prior) and Root isn't a novice at test level either. And apart from Broad in the 1st game none of our bowlers have made inroads either.It's a combo of both. From Eng's point of view our bowlers have bailed us out several times in the last year or so when our batsmen have failed and it seems that they've gone to the well too many times.I think the 3 major catalysts for this series turnaround are

    1 - Mitch's form 2- The way your batsmen have not let our bowlers (esp Swann) settle 3- The way your lower order/tail have played. A couple of times we've had you 140ish-5 and the lower order have made big runs

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Came across this interesting article today ;-) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/78799.html

  • Pathiyal on December 25, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    cricket has turned out to be a mental game now a days rather than a real test of skills. it is indispensable to have a mentally strong leader.

  • the_blue_android on December 25, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    It's a myth thatEngland played well over the last few years. England has been playing the way they have always played, average at best. What really has happened is their 'peak' coincided with the troughs of other teams like Australia and India. Just look at their results against SA and Pak during their 'peak', for proof. They beat a mediocre Australia and an aging Indian side. Even Zimbabwe could have beaten that Indian team in India! Now the imbalances have been corrected and its business as usual.

  • latecut_04 on December 25, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    @landl47 " The difference has been in England's performance" is purely from Eng perspective.THE difference has been Aus performance being much much better than England's.Let us take the key Australians from 2010-11.Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Smith.1.Clarke--As batsman SAME as 2010-11 as captain-TOP NOTCH.(Eng found wanting in captaincy column..)2.Watson--Nothing much better than 2010-11. is there because of NO replacement 3.Haddin--contender for Man Of The Series based on 3 matches this season 4.Johnson--Do i need to say anything, especially about the 'different' Johnsons(2010-11 and now). 5.Siddle--Workhorse like in 2010-11 but with a strike bowler suddenly fits into a complete bowling attack 6.Harris--way better than 2010-11 and arguably the best bowler on either side 7.Smith---Matchmaker with the bat this time compared to 'cant bat,cant bowl' player in 2010-11.

  • Big_Chikka on December 25, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    with kp on this one 100 per cent, whatever his failings, he's ready to take it good or bad, self inflicted or not. though the tweeting scandal a couple years ago proved he's fighting the opposition in and out of the camp. maybe trott felt the same..BUT he's still there and willing............hope england fight back, monty gets loads of wickets and the white wash is avoided.

  • on December 24, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    my team to play next couple of games would be cook root bell pieterson ballance bairstow stokes bresnan broad anderson panesar

  • lillee4PM on December 26, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    'I'm as good as gold' - Pietersen. Gold price has slumped from $1900 to $1200 and pretty much describes the direction of KP's career!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 25, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    I believe the results so far are because Australia have been able to play with a high intensity and create unbearable pressure. England haven't faced such brilliant opposition before so it's not that they are playing badly, just that they are out of their depth at this level. I think Australia will go to SA and deal them a similar fate to show that under Lehmann they have regenerated into the number 1 team in the world. I sense many Ashes series to come will be a complete mismatch that Australia will cruise through.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Well, with worlds best pace attack sensing the kill and Siddle licking his chops KP could be as good as gone by end of the Ashes.

  • JG2704 on December 25, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    @ latecut_04 - It's exactly how Landl says it is. Aus are playing many times better and he does indicate this in the 2nd paragraph.But Eng have been worse too.The fact that Ben Stokes is the only player to get a ton in 6 inns (great effort ) also says as much about our batsmen.Trott (who I backed to have a good series - doh) has gone but we still have 3 senior batsmen (4 if you include Prior) and Root isn't a novice at test level either. And apart from Broad in the 1st game none of our bowlers have made inroads either.It's a combo of both. From Eng's point of view our bowlers have bailed us out several times in the last year or so when our batsmen have failed and it seems that they've gone to the well too many times.I think the 3 major catalysts for this series turnaround are

    1 - Mitch's form 2- The way your batsmen have not let our bowlers (esp Swann) settle 3- The way your lower order/tail have played. A couple of times we've had you 140ish-5 and the lower order have made big runs

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Came across this interesting article today ;-) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/78799.html

  • Pathiyal on December 25, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    cricket has turned out to be a mental game now a days rather than a real test of skills. it is indispensable to have a mentally strong leader.

  • the_blue_android on December 25, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    It's a myth thatEngland played well over the last few years. England has been playing the way they have always played, average at best. What really has happened is their 'peak' coincided with the troughs of other teams like Australia and India. Just look at their results against SA and Pak during their 'peak', for proof. They beat a mediocre Australia and an aging Indian side. Even Zimbabwe could have beaten that Indian team in India! Now the imbalances have been corrected and its business as usual.

  • latecut_04 on December 25, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    @landl47 " The difference has been in England's performance" is purely from Eng perspective.THE difference has been Aus performance being much much better than England's.Let us take the key Australians from 2010-11.Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Smith.1.Clarke--As batsman SAME as 2010-11 as captain-TOP NOTCH.(Eng found wanting in captaincy column..)2.Watson--Nothing much better than 2010-11. is there because of NO replacement 3.Haddin--contender for Man Of The Series based on 3 matches this season 4.Johnson--Do i need to say anything, especially about the 'different' Johnsons(2010-11 and now). 5.Siddle--Workhorse like in 2010-11 but with a strike bowler suddenly fits into a complete bowling attack 6.Harris--way better than 2010-11 and arguably the best bowler on either side 7.Smith---Matchmaker with the bat this time compared to 'cant bat,cant bowl' player in 2010-11.

  • Big_Chikka on December 25, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    with kp on this one 100 per cent, whatever his failings, he's ready to take it good or bad, self inflicted or not. though the tweeting scandal a couple years ago proved he's fighting the opposition in and out of the camp. maybe trott felt the same..BUT he's still there and willing............hope england fight back, monty gets loads of wickets and the white wash is avoided.

  • on December 24, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    my team to play next couple of games would be cook root bell pieterson ballance bairstow stokes bresnan broad anderson panesar

  • JG2704 on December 24, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    I can't see it re Swann and Trott being used more sparingly making much difference. Re Trott - it's a stress related thing anyway and not exclusive to cricket and re Swann I think he had just had enough of having no impact on games. Of course it could be construed as a lack of heart/bottle but you kind of think what's the point? Many of us would have rested Swann anyway and while I think retiring's a bit drastic only Swann knows how he feels. Maybe he has little passion left - only he knows. But re Swann - without checking it seems like he's played less SF cricket over the last year or so and Trott too has played less ODIs. Trott's illness is more complex but I reckon Swann's retirement is performance related and maybe he can't physically or mentally get up for the challenge anymore. Also would disagree with KP and Swann being too alike. I'd say the opposite. Away from the cricket field KP comes across as a shy/retiring type whereas I reckon Swann would be Swann wherever he is

  • JG2704 on December 24, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    @Landl - I think it's hard to say for sure that England made selection mistakes for those grounds. Let's face it (re Adelaide) it's not as though any of our pacemen (barring Broad in 1st test) has had huge success either so it's difficult to say that the 2 spin combo was the wrong one. Aus bowlers and batsmen have made it look like there are tracks for each side. They could have played any formation in the 1st 3 tests and had similar results. You hit the nail on the head re the simplicity that Aus are performing much better this time around and Eng aren't performing as well

  • JG2704 on December 24, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo - Indeed he could have. He tried to dictate things which led to his retirement from shorter formats. He then unretired from shorter formats when he realised England weren't backing down. Personally I'd rather it was KP than Swann or Trott that left the tour

    @Milepost - If he did say it purely as a parting shot then I agree but (if it was referring to any of his teammates) it could be designed as a "prove me wrong" thing which may not be the worst thing

    @ sauaju - Compton being dropped was harsh in many eyes but TBH I'm not sure how much difference he'd make. Re Morgan - he has a mediocre record in tests and was hugely found wanting the last time we were backs to the wall in the longer format and has a poor 1st class record and made little effort to get a recall. Apart from that I agree - Morgan's the man

  • JG2704 on December 24, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo - Indeed he could have. He tried to dictate things which led to his retirement from shorter formats. He then unretired from shorter formats when he realised England weren't backing down. Personally I'd rather it was KP than Swann or Trott that left the tour

    @Milepost - If he did say it purely as a parting shot then I agree but (if it was referring to any of his teammates) it could be designed as a "prove me wrong" thing which may not be the worst thing

    @ sauaju - Compton being dropped was harsh in many eyes but TBH I'm not sure how much difference he'd make. Re Morgan - he has a mediocre record in tests and was hugely found wanting the last time we were backs to the wall in the longer format and has a poor 1st class record and made little effort to get a recall. Apart from that I agree - Morgan's the man

  • Englishmanabroad on December 24, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    The most depressing aspect of the England performances so far, has been the inability to get through the tail. In almost every innings, England has had Aus at something like 150 to 170 for 5 or 6, and are letting them pile on 100, 200, 300 runs before ending the inings. I personally think it is Cook's feeble, defensive attitude and field settings that are at the root of the problem. When a wicket is taken, or a new ball is taken, or it is the start of a new session, or resumption after a break of any kind, just compare the Australian field placings to those of England. England and Cook set the field as if they are already conceding the runs and are hoping that the Australian batsmen will get bored and retire. It was much the same against NZ in NZ last winter and at home during the Summer. The reason that so many English wickets fell to edges etc., was because of the attacking fields and attitude of the Australian/NZ captains, i.e. have someone there.

  • on December 24, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    He is the best man england currently has. The problem is their mental strength and fatigue of playing too many internationals in short period. Everyone can't be 100 percent every day, there would be up's and down's. The dressing room should be calm and chill regardless of the result, you don't want another SA-Eng debacle again. The only chance for England to regain some pride is either Andreson or KP firing.

  • sauaju on December 24, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    High time they select Morgan again and not take decisions like dropping players who score 2 hundreds in their last away series(Nick Compton in 3 test series against NZ) and making an opening batsman debut in an Ashes series away from home.

  • landl47 on December 24, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    England has made a few mistakes in this series (playing two spinners in Adelaide, for example, and not playing one of the tall quicks in Perth) and has had some bad luck- they've lost every toss, Trott was not able to compete, Broad was hurt in Perth. However, the bottom line is they haven't been good enough. The six players who dominated the 2010/11 series (Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Anderson) haven't been in anything like the same form, the successful bit players (Bresnan, Tremlett, Finn, Swann) have either not played or not had the same impact. Cook is still a work in progress as a captain and the fielding has been short of test standard.

    The key Australians are the same players England beat in 2010/11- Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Smith. Warner and Lyon have improved the side, but Hussey has gone and Rogers and Bailey haven't been match-changers. The difference has been in England's performance. Like it or not, KP is part of the problem.

  • on December 24, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    Flower has to rejig the batting order so that a new inexperienced middle order is not exposed to the oz. Somebody form the top should bat in the middle and should herd the inexperienced. My batting order preference now will be Root Carberry Bell cook pietersen stokes prior bresnan broad tremlett panesar. They should not push for new blood in MCG but they can try in sydney depending on the result of MCG.

  • on December 24, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    well said KP.You are a fine fine player.It is amazing how people jump all over to take you down when you are down.Three test matches lost and it is seen as doomsday of english cricket.Every team suffers from such results.Australia has been losing home and away tests for a long while now.Subcontinental teams generally struggle away but often come up with fine performances.It is just the nature of the game.For ex....everybody is happy with team india and dhonis captaincy now...but had SA got those 8 runs a lot of questions abt captaincy and bowling attack would have risen...

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on December 24, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    KP plays the best when he takes on the opposition , he is not a grafter its that simple , as for australia rogers , haddin are not getting any younger and their replacement has to be found soon , and still not convinced of watson at no.3 in test , they need philip hughes or khawaja as a long term solution

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on December 24, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Whats all this talk of England rebuilding ?? , what they need is a new team manager and slightly relaxed schedule , i mean most of their batsmen like cook , trott , bell , KP are proven international performers , joe root is a very exciting young talent , age wise all their senior players are in early 30s which are the best years for an international batsman !! the truth is Australia has the worlds best attack and they were blown away by the an aussie blitzkrieg, england will recover given enough time , i am an aussie supporter myself but its Australia who have problem of rebuilding coming up within a couple of years !!

  • CricketChat on December 24, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Pietersen will come back strong provided Eng selectors don't dump him prematurely due to public criticism of Ashes debacle. Seeing how Hafeez (Pak) bounced back in the SL series after seemed like hopeless and terminal decline, I am convinced a batsman of KP's caliber will shine again once he clears his head.

  • on December 24, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    As a responsible senior player KP is answerable to the manner he got out through soft dismissals in 5 out of 6 occasions. That is far too many mistakes or miscalculations. Australian bowlers led by MJ exerted unrelenting pressure. Most of the English batsmen were not able to withstand that for a long enough time. If they were determined to hang in there for long enough they would have been able to find ways of scoring runs. To succeed in test cricket on a consistent manner requires adaptability to different situations. That was severely lacking. Since the preferred seniors have failed it is about time to give opportunities to remaining squad members. To be fair by them they should get to play in two matches.

  • Jeeves_ on December 24, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    This English team have been so off the mark as to wonder how things could get worse. Their performances were disappointing in England. They seem to be very lucky and played a boring brand of cricket, and the Australians pushed them very close with a team of mavericks with the exception of Clarke, Siddle, Harris, and Haddin.

    I wasn't surprised that Australia have dominated, as in the English series they were pretty 50-50, and the Australian cricketers had been in super hot form before this series began. England have yet to field a centurion in 3 tests, but why can't Cook win a toss? Frankly I've been speaking about rotating the toss for some time. It simply spoils the game when you have a captain (Cook) who can't win the toss!

    Swann has been a big difference. 7 wickets at an average of 80 in the first three Tests! I, for one, think this team was under-prepared, woefully out of form, and the Management should go for their role in this debacle.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 24, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I reckon that player live as they die. They used to say of Gower. Of Beefy.etc It is the same with KP. KP is hard wired to be a flamboyant risktaker who same times makes mistakes. On the other hand he plays the most extraordinary shots at a massive rate. So be it! The leopard does not change it's spots. They are great as they are. Essenrially the three older hands in the batting have to make sure we fight in this Test and win it.The others too may come to the party. England can now play 5 bowlers which goes some of the way to making up for Swann's absence. We have first and foremost though to catch everything and field really tight.

  • on December 24, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Bottom line u r style of orthodox coaching not working mr flower look at what u have turned Kp at when u got players like Kp u gotta let Him express himself he can win a match single handedly instead u choose to tie him with u r orthodox methods.

  • liz1558 on December 24, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    It looks like some clear air now that Swann has gone. Would be great to see KP bat with the old freedom. I expect that the survivors of this series will be cook, bell,KP, root, prior, broad. Bres and Anderson maybe, with the only plus being stokes. KP looks like he has his sights set on 10000 runs, so he'll be around for a couple of years. Finn simply has to be persisted with in the same way as MJ.

  • haqster499 on December 24, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    My England XI for Boxing Day Test

    Cook, Carberry, Bell (at 3), Pietersen, Ballance, Stokes, Bairstow, Broad, Finn, Rankin, Monty.

    Anderson needs a break and can't swing after ten overs. Root is not consistent. Get 4 tall guys and bounce the Aussies out at the MCG!!!

  • on December 24, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Well I suppose ill be there tomorrow night ( sigh) hope springs eternal

  • jackiethepen on December 24, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Would Trott and Swann still be in the team? Yes if the regime hadn't been so draconian. Pressure on top of pressure will destroy quite a few. Back to Back Ashes was a disastrous call. But the team was beginning to show stress in the summer, including the coach. He was out of answers but the media preferred to attack the players - as ever. They don't see the whole picture. Cook had turned into a puppet of Flower. Flower and Gooch were too alike. It was going to happen unless the pressure was lifted. Flower should have been relieved of his duties and his job passed to Giles who has a lighter touch. But the ECB were too craven like the media to tackle the issue. Now we have two casualties. But really we have a third in Cook.

  • 200ondebut on December 24, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Sorry George but you could not be further from the truth suggesting that KP and Swann are alike.

    KP is a driven professional - it is all about winning and being the best. Swann is a happy go lucky character who will frustrate KP consistently with his perceived lack of professionalism. I have even heard his dad Ray say that his son can be annoying!

  • jonesy2 on December 24, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    the fact that he says hes batting as well as hes ever batted sums him up and sums up his lack of ability

  • PrasPunter on December 24, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    The earlier Eng rebuild the better - indian summer is coming !!!

  • milepost on December 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    KP gets a lot of stick and I know that hurts him but he's a top drawer cricketer, one of the best playing and he's an entertainer. If Swann is referring to players in the dressing room I think that's poor play (albeit admittedly interesting). I'm thinking if he is dropped he will retire immediately and if he does play these will be his last two test matches for England. He can make a better living playing less cricket in T20, spend more time with family and he's done plenty enough to have proven himself a very good test player, he has nothing left to prove. Would you rather watch Boycott or KP bat? Enough said.

  • Diaz54 on December 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    I meant to add Pietersen go and get a blistering hundred to prove your detractors wrong!

  • Diaz54 on December 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Well said Pietersen. What you have contributed to England cricket has not been recognised.,most people including some players see you as a foreigner comfortable with opposition. They forget the fact that England's reign of being one of the best side was started by you in that that ashes series. People forget the other match wining contributions you have made. Instead they focus on your failings....strangely they re happy with Trott who is seen as home grown player. Also Trott's well published views on SA are probably what people are comfortable with.

  • RandyOZ on December 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    It is not a surpsie to many that even the English players think they are up themselves. The 803 page recipe book was only the beginning. Swann has been battered by Warner and Clarke into retirement and now the truths begin to emerge.

  • on December 24, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    "All of which led to the observation: if Graeme Swann or Jonathan Trott had been used a little more sparingly, might they still be fit and firing as part of this Ashes squad?" seems to be a problem that only the England team face the rest of thw world jsut get on with it.

  • northumbriannomad on December 24, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Why on earth are they worrying about who's going to field at second slip or short leg? It's who fields on the roofs of the stands at long off and mid wicket they need to be thinking about.

  • TheLonelyisland on December 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    George you hit the nail on head saying that they are two Swann and KP are rather too alike.

    And I doubt we'll be needing a shortleg!

  • Dr.Vindaloo on December 24, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    I admire Pietersen. He could easily run away from the pressure, criticism and negative vibes and take the easy money of a T20 mercenary. But he doesn't. He knows that playing test cricket is the greatest stage he can perform on, and the stage on which his talent can shine most brightly. I sincerely hope we get another two years of him. Test cricket will be so much poorer for him leaving that stage.

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  • Dr.Vindaloo on December 24, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    I admire Pietersen. He could easily run away from the pressure, criticism and negative vibes and take the easy money of a T20 mercenary. But he doesn't. He knows that playing test cricket is the greatest stage he can perform on, and the stage on which his talent can shine most brightly. I sincerely hope we get another two years of him. Test cricket will be so much poorer for him leaving that stage.

  • TheLonelyisland on December 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    George you hit the nail on head saying that they are two Swann and KP are rather too alike.

    And I doubt we'll be needing a shortleg!

  • northumbriannomad on December 24, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Why on earth are they worrying about who's going to field at second slip or short leg? It's who fields on the roofs of the stands at long off and mid wicket they need to be thinking about.

  • on December 24, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    "All of which led to the observation: if Graeme Swann or Jonathan Trott had been used a little more sparingly, might they still be fit and firing as part of this Ashes squad?" seems to be a problem that only the England team face the rest of thw world jsut get on with it.

  • RandyOZ on December 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    It is not a surpsie to many that even the English players think they are up themselves. The 803 page recipe book was only the beginning. Swann has been battered by Warner and Clarke into retirement and now the truths begin to emerge.

  • Diaz54 on December 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Well said Pietersen. What you have contributed to England cricket has not been recognised.,most people including some players see you as a foreigner comfortable with opposition. They forget the fact that England's reign of being one of the best side was started by you in that that ashes series. People forget the other match wining contributions you have made. Instead they focus on your failings....strangely they re happy with Trott who is seen as home grown player. Also Trott's well published views on SA are probably what people are comfortable with.

  • Diaz54 on December 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    I meant to add Pietersen go and get a blistering hundred to prove your detractors wrong!

  • milepost on December 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    KP gets a lot of stick and I know that hurts him but he's a top drawer cricketer, one of the best playing and he's an entertainer. If Swann is referring to players in the dressing room I think that's poor play (albeit admittedly interesting). I'm thinking if he is dropped he will retire immediately and if he does play these will be his last two test matches for England. He can make a better living playing less cricket in T20, spend more time with family and he's done plenty enough to have proven himself a very good test player, he has nothing left to prove. Would you rather watch Boycott or KP bat? Enough said.

  • PrasPunter on December 24, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    The earlier Eng rebuild the better - indian summer is coming !!!

  • jonesy2 on December 24, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    the fact that he says hes batting as well as hes ever batted sums him up and sums up his lack of ability