Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day December 28, 2013

'Fragile' England hurt by schedule - Pietersen

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Kevin Pietersen has blamed England's schedule for the side's disappointing performance in Australia.

As well as losing the first three Tests of the series, and with them the Ashes, England have seen two senior players, Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann, leave the tour. Pietersen, who has not made a century in the series, suggested the demands of back-to-back Ashes series had left England jaded and "a bit fragile".

"I think people shouldn't forget, and it's never been done before, that guys have got to go and endure 10 back-to-back Ashes Test matches," Pietersen told Sky Sports.

"I've been told that a number of Olympic athletes go into some sort of post-Olympic depression or a negative frame of mind - and I'm not saying we're in a depression or a negative frame of mind - but after you've competed at such a level, post that competition, mentally you're a bit fragile. To play an Ashes then another Ashes, and for us being away from home, it's a tough gig.

"It's been an incredibly pressurised situation. Playing back-to-back Ashes series and being away for the second leg, and not starting in the manner that we are accustomed to ... it's been incredibly difficult."

Pietersen also dismissed criticism he had received for the manner of his dismissals in the series. Pietersen has twice being caught pulling, twice flicking into a trap set for him at midwicket, once on the long-on boundary and, in the first innings in Melbourne, bowled attempting a slog across the line. Geoff Boycott, the former England opener whose Test run tally Pietersen has overtaken during this match, labelled him "a mug" and called for him to be dropped.

But Pietersen defended his dismissal in the first innings in Melbourne, insisting he was batting with the tail and perished in a desire to boost the "team cause".

"This game is a great leveller," Pietersen said. "If you start believing people when they say you're great it's going to hurt you. If you start believing people when they call you a mug that's also going to hurt you.

"I know it [his first-innings dismissal at the MCG] is a bit of a talking point. I don't know what the numbers are on our tail, but as soon as [Tim] Bresnan got out, I was under the impression that I had to do all the scoring and take all the strike.

"Look, I get out for nought, I get nailed. I get out for 70 ... I was playing for the team's cause to try and score as many runs as possible as quick as possible because I knew I was going to have to do it.

"Australia have bowled incredibly well with great plans and sometimes you've just got to say 'well done'. I was a bit fortunate on a couple of occasions, but that's what happens. I've been unfortunate on a couple of occasions on this trip as well. But I call it the cycle of life. These things happen. You win some and you lose some. If you take all the good days you've got to take the bad days with it as well.

"We just want to try and salvage some pride. We want to try and turn things around."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Macker60 on December 30, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Westmorlandia, Don't let the Facts get in the Way, 32 in 28 month by Australia Against 27 in 32 month by England.

  • Macker60 on December 30, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Australia Are currently coming close to a end of there Busiest Test Match Schedule in Australian History Since Aug 2011 they Have Played 32 test Matches in (28 Months) With 4 to go in the next 2 Months, For a Record Of 15 Wins 10 Losses and 7 Draws. England Have Played 27 test since May 2011 (32 months) For 9 wins 9 losses 9 Draws. Kinda put the Augment to Pasture. (To Rest) Both Have Played the Same Teams, With Australia Playing all in Home and Away Conditions , Current in the same time frame SA are the only Team to Hold the Advantage over Aus by 1 Test. Australia are Tied with India 4 (all Home Ground Wins for Both Teams), NZ 1 all (But NZ win was In Australia). With Sri Lanka and West Indies Australia won both Home and Away.

  • on December 29, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    not been funny but take a look at the future tours programme - the onlyt test cricket that takes place between june and sept is english ones - one day cricket doesnt count - people are regularly left out for it to rest

  • balajik2505 on December 29, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Sorry KP, this won't wash. There are other teams which do play a lot more cricket. Australia played a 7 match ODI series in India. Before that they were involved in a 5 match ODI series in England, where England's top players were rested. If you get into the English team, your county commitments decrease. So what are you talking about?

    RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, the IPL involves a maximum of 17 matches of 20-20. Where is the physical strain. By the way KP is talking about how playing back to back Ashes has left England flat.

  • Barnbarroch on December 29, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    I feel sorry for the poor exhausted Australians who had to play back-to-back Ashes series, don't you guys?

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 29, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Suggestion to KP: Stop playing in the IPL

  • Built_4_the_Kill on December 29, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    If these back-to-back Ashes series were played in England, would he still come out with the limp excuses he is throwing no?

    No one raised any issues of back-to-back Ashes series when English team departed from England. No worries were recorded when most of English batters scored heavily in the practice game before the first test match. Why now only? The margin of losses so far in the series are so huge there is noway the losses can be attributed to anything but lack of performance.

    I am hired to do work and the minimum requirement is to meet the expectations from management and shareholders. I work five months @ my hometown and five months offshore. Never complained about back-to-back assignments. Same applies to these players. They are hired to play cricket. They must meet the expectations from board and public. Their assignments can be at home and/or abroad.

    The English performance in this ongoing series can be described in two words. Recklessness and Over-confidence.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 29, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    I think I heard somewhere that the reason for back to back ashes is because the ashes where always being played in a world cup year, and both boards wanted that changed.... but then again I may have dreamt that.

  • on December 29, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    I have read KP's comments and wonder if he would have said that the English team is fragile if they were in the winning position here. The fragility of this man is when he doesn't get his own way. Also, if a batman is batting with the tail he is supposed to give the lower order confidence so that they will stay out there and make as many runs as possible re Brad Haddin. It is a sorrowful sight to read such dribble from a so called athlete who is supposed to be representing his country. Oh hang-on KP is South African so he isn't representing his country.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 29, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Does KP know that most english players are rested from bilateral ODI series?

  • Macker60 on December 30, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Westmorlandia, Don't let the Facts get in the Way, 32 in 28 month by Australia Against 27 in 32 month by England.

  • Macker60 on December 30, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Australia Are currently coming close to a end of there Busiest Test Match Schedule in Australian History Since Aug 2011 they Have Played 32 test Matches in (28 Months) With 4 to go in the next 2 Months, For a Record Of 15 Wins 10 Losses and 7 Draws. England Have Played 27 test since May 2011 (32 months) For 9 wins 9 losses 9 Draws. Kinda put the Augment to Pasture. (To Rest) Both Have Played the Same Teams, With Australia Playing all in Home and Away Conditions , Current in the same time frame SA are the only Team to Hold the Advantage over Aus by 1 Test. Australia are Tied with India 4 (all Home Ground Wins for Both Teams), NZ 1 all (But NZ win was In Australia). With Sri Lanka and West Indies Australia won both Home and Away.

  • on December 29, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    not been funny but take a look at the future tours programme - the onlyt test cricket that takes place between june and sept is english ones - one day cricket doesnt count - people are regularly left out for it to rest

  • balajik2505 on December 29, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Sorry KP, this won't wash. There are other teams which do play a lot more cricket. Australia played a 7 match ODI series in India. Before that they were involved in a 5 match ODI series in England, where England's top players were rested. If you get into the English team, your county commitments decrease. So what are you talking about?

    RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, the IPL involves a maximum of 17 matches of 20-20. Where is the physical strain. By the way KP is talking about how playing back to back Ashes has left England flat.

  • Barnbarroch on December 29, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    I feel sorry for the poor exhausted Australians who had to play back-to-back Ashes series, don't you guys?

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 29, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Suggestion to KP: Stop playing in the IPL

  • Built_4_the_Kill on December 29, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    If these back-to-back Ashes series were played in England, would he still come out with the limp excuses he is throwing no?

    No one raised any issues of back-to-back Ashes series when English team departed from England. No worries were recorded when most of English batters scored heavily in the practice game before the first test match. Why now only? The margin of losses so far in the series are so huge there is noway the losses can be attributed to anything but lack of performance.

    I am hired to do work and the minimum requirement is to meet the expectations from management and shareholders. I work five months @ my hometown and five months offshore. Never complained about back-to-back assignments. Same applies to these players. They are hired to play cricket. They must meet the expectations from board and public. Their assignments can be at home and/or abroad.

    The English performance in this ongoing series can be described in two words. Recklessness and Over-confidence.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 29, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    I think I heard somewhere that the reason for back to back ashes is because the ashes where always being played in a world cup year, and both boards wanted that changed.... but then again I may have dreamt that.

  • on December 29, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    I have read KP's comments and wonder if he would have said that the English team is fragile if they were in the winning position here. The fragility of this man is when he doesn't get his own way. Also, if a batman is batting with the tail he is supposed to give the lower order confidence so that they will stay out there and make as many runs as possible re Brad Haddin. It is a sorrowful sight to read such dribble from a so called athlete who is supposed to be representing his country. Oh hang-on KP is South African so he isn't representing his country.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on December 29, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Does KP know that most english players are rested from bilateral ODI series?

  • sheenu on December 29, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    What they should have done is to abolish Ashes before this tour started. That way, the poms would not have lost it so miserably, and they would have retained it permanently!! It looks like the wisdom has come to KP just before they go down 4-0!!

  • Chris_P on December 29, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Never been done before, KP? Go check your history, after the Lillee & Thommo carnage of 74/75, the Aussies went to the inaugural World Cup, THEN played 4 tests for the Ashes series in '75, a somewhat tougher schedule than this I would suggest. Both teams had to do this & one team has prospered, what do you deduce from that, KP? Now I know you're not that soft, KP.

  • on December 29, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    Oh I'm sorry. I didn't realize that Australia didn't have to play in the last series in England. What a whiny guy. Your team is playing poorly, just face it. Still a good team but just fess up to poor play and don't make excuses. Weak mindedness

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on December 29, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    @thebeautifulgame - what evidence do you have of infighting?! None at all, so a crass comment. KP is absolutely right about his dismissals. His shot in the first innings was poor but the thinking behind it was correct. Unless our lower order show some spunk, it's pointless for any remaining top order batsman to try and bat through an innings - he will need to take chances and go for his shots.

  • Diaz54 on December 29, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    How about playing Pakistan in A u Dhabi instead to get good result?

  • on December 29, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    any more excuse you want to throw in on why England have been playing poorly this series?

  • dunger.bob on December 28, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    @ ScottStevo: Point taken. Just the same, with that tail, I'd be having a slog as well. They've managed, what, a dozen runs between them in the previous 3 tests so I think there's reason to be nervous.

  • bren19 on December 28, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Nice try KP- I am not sure if he noticed but both teams played back to back series. Aust does not seem to be suffering post ashes depression. Please - so soft these days. You are playing cricket for a living, not a cause for suffering battle fatigue. Get a manicure and it will all feel better mate. Hit 'em where it really hurts ECB - send them all home economy class.

  • on December 28, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Pietersen didn't go out trying to "boost the team cause". He went out going for a six to reach his 50. TV moment. If he was batting for the "team cause" he would have chipped away with twos and the occasional four.

  • rajarajan99 on December 28, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    What is this fuss abut Ashes? Australia won in their home and England lost the away series Period, so stop glorifying these two mediocre teams. I am sick and tired or seeing Brits and Aussies fight with each other talking about the so called greatest series on earth nonsense as if others don't know how to play cricket or don't play better cricket. Any match with Australia against any one of the teams like India, pak, sri lanka or SA are good in Australia simply because the pitches are fast and bouncy and the grounds and facilities are good and the coverage and commentary is good.

  • aussiebear68 on December 28, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    10 back to back Tests, "never been done before" ? West Indies vs Australia (83-84), showed what a champion team could do...this series has shown the English team to be well short of a champion team. Champions dominate on their best days and scrap through / dig deep on their "off days".

  • Rahulbose on December 28, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    What a lame excuse, Aussies played the same games and have gotten better and better. KP is probably talking about himself, his motivation to play for Eng has always been suspect. If you can't be excited about playing an Ashes test then move over and let others get the chance.

  • on December 28, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    KP is quite right, of course. Australia's attack in this series has been much more fired up, especially on home territory. Dropped catches and poor fielding has made quite a difference to results, which rather backs up what he says. Stokes and Bairstow showed their inexperience yesterday - had they stayed around to give us 300 odd to play with it might have been different. Time for a lot of thinking after this obviously. We could well do better in the one dayers.

  • Pippy_the_dog on December 28, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Well said KP. The current schedules are absurd, because cricket administrators see their whole rationale as making money. Cricket is much poorer than in years gone by because of its sheer volume.

  • Frill on December 28, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    While I agree with KP, England had nothing but rest between the 2 Ashes series. A lot of the Aussie players went to India to play 7 one-day games also. No complaints from the winning side.

    The ECB should have thought about this long ago when they didn't want to have the Ashes due to the Olympics in 2012. Either cancel it for your turn or ask your players to stop complaining about 10 test matches. This doesn't and isn't always going to happen.

  • AndyMack on December 28, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Give me a break. Aust was off playing an ODI series in India between ashes series, while Eng were busy preparing for this Test series.

    Blame the schedule?? No sorry, not going to fly I'm afraid.

  • Westmorlandia on December 28, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    The schedule has been a problem for a while, and people have been saying it. This isn't some new complaint. England play more tests than any other country, and have done for some time. The Aussies don't play as many, and the Aussies aren't touring for this series.

    I do think there is more to it than that, but the strain is going to exacerbate any problems that exist. The ECB needs to dial it down a notch or two, and think strategically about success, not just TV rights.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 28, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Of course some people such as most Aussies will complain at these sentiments. But I think it is a matter of whatever is so for the individual. We do not all think alike,mercifully. I have thought from day 1 that this schedule was just a complete screw up. Whatever the cause, and I do not completely buy into the idea of putting an Ashes series into a different year to the WC,but look to the moneymen who usually like to flog dead horses till they are decomposing, and ICC, my usual villains. Anyway it has been overkill and I am sure that when you have won a big series in England you want to cherish that for a bit,for a couple of seasons,say. There have been other factors, fragile ones such as Trott's departure. It hardly lifts a team.Austalia have won this fair and square but I wonder what the scoreline would have been if we had played this next winter. Personally playing ten Tests against one opponent bores the hell out of me.We should have gone to West Indies.

  • strikeforce2003 on December 28, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Reflection, he could have done more...though more with support...none coming from the fragile minded top, mid or lower order. This guy is a great bat, a man who keeps reporters, stadia watchers, his team at the dressing room, his coaches & support staff viewing, the cric buffs & all Tele viewers tingling as he walks in to bat. Great batsmen need a support system to aid them in making run. Polite as he is, Pieterson could not have placed this more delicately. The Pommy mates just could not support him, needing support from him...that rests, rather nails the matter

  • PrasPunter on December 28, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    wondering why none of the 'Experts' are not seeing the reason behind back-to-back Ashes contests. This was supposed to be held in 2015 but given a WC-year, ECB and CA have decided not to have a high-intense Ashes contest just before before a WC campaign.

  • Paul_Somerset on December 28, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Nothing unprecedented about back-to-back Ashes series. It happened in 1974/5 in Australia and 1975 in England.

  • thebeautifulgame on December 28, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    Excuses. Didn't the Aussies also play ten Ashes tests on the trot?

    England are in (slightly better) the same position as India were in 2011. They seem to be out of steam, are bleeding talent and there is growing evidence of infighting.

  • Batmanian on December 28, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    I don't buy the ten match series nonsense - that's simple-minded marketing unworthy of the Ashes tradition. The Ashes is all about winning away - that's why Australians aren't overly fussed whether this is another whitewash. Effectively, the other half of this series is actually the next time in England, when we'll see two very different teams and Australia will have yet another shot at getting an Ashes tour right.

    KP's said things that are perfectly reasonable. I think it would be better to have the series at least eighteen months apart to maximise rolling interest, apart from the strain on the players. Australia's got very lucky injury-wise, for once, but the bowling partnership concept has really come into its own. Siddle has been outstanding in his partnerships, without getting so many scalps, for example.

  • dorothydix on December 28, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Totally agree with KP in that its very hard to play back to back series when the last one is away from home. People who have not played the game at the highest level simply do not and cannot understand because they have not experienced the pressure. The important thing to remember is that if the administrators continue with these types of schedules the quality of test cricket will deteriorate as it has done this series. These guys are trying their best and its so easy for us watching from our armchairs!

  • tinkertinker on December 28, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    So many excuses from this england team, so many remarks from them about how they think the aussies should be playing or acting.

    England take a look in the mirror stop blaming everybody else for your awful play.

  • on December 28, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Agree with him. With the jolt they recieved from Johnson early on in the series has put them on a back foot and have never came back.

  • SagirParkar on December 28, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    and once again we see the schedule getting blamed for England's disappointing performances.. i dont hear other teams complaining of the schedule when they lose.. either Eng need to toughen up and bear with their schedule or just take it to the management rather than airing it in public..

  • DC75 on December 28, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    The problem KP is that the "other team in Ashes" is also playing 10 back to back tests and added to that some of the members in their team also played 7 ODI series in India AND also played some domestic cricket as it happens to be their summer

  • wrenx on December 28, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Pathetic by Pietersen's. You've done nothing for 3 months between series. Australia went to India to play. Stop fabricating excuses.

  • CricketChat on December 28, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Agree with KP. Back to back Ashes within 6 months is a bit of too much, both for player and fans. I feel bilateral series should be at least couple of years apart to keep the freshness of contest and anticipation. The gap might also throw up some fresh faces each time adding to the fun.

  • on December 28, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    kp ,ian bell and cook deserve to be dropped .they have been disasters

  • ScottStevo on December 28, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    @dunger.bob, why can't you blame him for either of his dismissals? The hoik he played in the 1st was a disgraceful attempt at a slog - and for no reason. It was the 2nd over of the day and Eng had lost a wicket 3 deliveries beforehand. Even if he was trying to press on 'with the tail' Broad isn't a complete bunny. That excuse would play if the over beforehand he didn't already smash one before Bresnan was dismissed. There's no excuse for throwing your wicket away, especially when you're batting with the tail.

  • 4test90 on December 28, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Cricket_Is_Unpopular - is that why a world record crowd of 91,092 turned up on Boxing Day followed by 78,346 yesterday and 63,864 for series that has already been decided ?

  • on December 28, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Lucky Australia didn't have to play back to back Ashes or we'd be in real trouble!

    Wait a minute....

  • ChristopherG on December 28, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Pietersen's comparison of the mental demands of an international cricketer to those of an Olympic athlete is ludicrous: an Olympic athlete has once chance in every four years, and for many, one chance in a lifetime, to perform his/her skill at the highest level. Now that's pressure.

    Perhaps a visit to England's assistant deputy psychoanalyst is in order, or even simpler still, a trip to the team's chief nutritionist to see if he's allowed to buy some of Sir Geoffrey's concentration-boosting ginseng tea.

  • disco_bob on December 28, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Hey guess what KP, Australia have also played two back to back Ashes series just like England, fancy that!

  • Captainman on December 28, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    I don't understand why people are against KP. He is spot on what he said that the scheduling is poor. 10 back to back Ashes means 50 days of test games within a space of 6 months plus you add the trainings, meeting etc. The fact is Cricket is an unpopular sport and and too many Ashes will just ruin the rivalry. In fact, there will be another Ashes series again in England soon lol so KP is clearly right on the ridiculous schedule and how players are getting tired of it.

  • on December 28, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    this is a 10 test series - right now it's 3-3, advantage australia. sydney is the decider - and i have enjoyed the whole battle.this ain't over

  • Rowayton on December 28, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    I know history is probably not KPs strong suit, but 10 Ashes tests in a row never done before? How about 74/5, and the same side won both series. Just another excuse.

  • on December 28, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    I was backing England all the way and wrote a lot about it before this series, about how England will dominate . I am not alone. A lot of great players and experienced commentators/writers have also expressed the same. Never, never, have the issue about "schedule" come into play. Its' a lame excuse ! Australia have managed to somehow play great cricket thus far and deserve to win in the manner in which they did. It is as simple as that ! As some-one wrote "if England were winning, KP would have something entirely different to say or not say "

  • Drew2 on December 28, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @andrew-schulz - great pick up there. I'd forgotten about 1974-75. Maybe KP isn't old enough to remember, but he should check his facts before blurting out these big statements.

  • foeofdevil on December 28, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    England can do if they have faith in Lord but little does they realise their gifted strength in bat,ball and field.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 28, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    I don't think he is making excuses for losing, I think back to back Ashes is a tough ask. Rogers also made comment about it a few days ago and Bell has too. Read the article again, he suggests the scheduling may have affected performance and I think he is right. Australia also have bloodthirsty home support and big crowds on their side. England have been living in hotels for nearly 3 months under huge public pressure. The have lost 2 of their best players, had their vice captain dropped and they are losing in spectacular fashion. If you think you can gloss over that by saying they just need to be professional sportspeople you have to remember they are just people too.

  • dumb_badman on December 28, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Some people have to work every day! Imagine that!

  • dunger.bob on December 28, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    I'm not going to comment on the poor old , worn out England thing. I've said my piece on that so I'm going to talk about his batting.

    I don't think you can blame him for either dismissal in this test. The second was almost a mirror image of the first. He was in real and present danger of being stranded on the score he has was currently on so had no choice but to hit out. Same thing, both times. .. Not his fault. In fact it was only him and Cook who showed much fight so I don't think you can criticise him for that.

  • on December 28, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    why is that the english players are only ones who make excuses about excessive cricket. Most of their test players don't even play oneday cricket but still they are getting homesick.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 28, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    I don't think he is making excuses for losing, I think back to back Ashes is a tough ask. Rogers also made comment about it a few days ago and Bell has too. Read the article again, he suggests the scheduling may have affected performance and I think he is right. Australia also have bloodthirsty home support and big crowds on their side. England have been living in hotels for nearly 3 months under huge public pressure. The have lost 2 of their best players, had their vice captain dropped and they are losing in spectacular fashion. If you think you can gloss over that by saying they just need to be professional sportspeople you have to remember they are just people too.

  • Chanceman on December 28, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Poms don't like to admit defeat. Always making excuses. Especially when clobbered by Australia. The disease even affects their resident South Africans.

  • Jeeves_ on December 28, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Interesting comments. Definitely ENGLAND have been woeful in not grabbing chances, and losing every key moment in 4 tests. No batsman has been able to dominate. Definitely Australia have been in the form of their lives, yet the team is confident because of good management and preparation. England had time to plan, but failed miserably by leaving behind Onions and Compton and not selecting Gary Ballance. My main concern is their lack of fight. Every time their tail has weakly capitulated, and every time Australia were in trouble, Haddin strode to the crease. Brad Haddin has been a mountain.

  • Rajdeepgupta on December 28, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Would KP made the same statement if Eng were 3-0 ahead. Na, I think he is making excuses. You are professional sportsman and you are paid huge bucks to play. You could have easily walked away had you not been ready for this Ashes.

  • kepler22b on December 28, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    The English have played two more tests than Australia in the last two years (and six of those tests were against the kiwis - not the greatest challenge). They haven't played any more 20/20 or one dayers than anybody else.

    Teaspoon of concrete on its way KP

  • on December 28, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    To NZcricket174, australia lost 3-0 in England, but were smashed in only 1 test. They had bad luck with decisions on occasion, lost the first match by 14 runs and were probably ahead on the two that were rain affected. If you look at the statistics, the difference between the two teams was Bell, with an average over 60. All the other batsmen on both sides were prety dire, averaging about 40 at best. stats would also suggest that Australia bowled better overall. BUT, england had Bell and the roll of the luck, so came away with one very impressive win and a scoreline that flattered them. In this series, 3 Ausies are averaging above 45 (Warner at almost 80); All of the bowlers are averaging less than 30; England best batsman is Pietreson on 35 (less than Johnson), and only Broad has an average of less than 30 with the ball. The stats don't lie. England were flattered by 3 -0, in England, but that's life. we'll see the final score in a few weeks, but Australia has so far been exceptional

  • cnksnk on December 28, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Kev. I think the word to describe cricketers now a days is professionals. If the English team is one then playing tests back to back should not be an issue. Most other teams do it. Also did Australia not also play 10 tests in a row. In fact they should complain of the schedule as they actually lost in England and can complain that they had little time to re group. Sorry but this series picked up the mirror and showed it on the England team faces for what it is - a very average team who combined for a brief period of around 1 years to produce good results. Nothing more.

  • on December 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Erm Bones87... I think you're forgetting a certain bloke called Haddin in your statement. He has ridden to the rescue every time our batsmen have failed, including this morning.

  • CoverDrive88 on December 28, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    I think he's probably right. In my opinion, a lot of Australia's problems have come from too much cricket - constant cricket in fact. Other factors were retiring players and stupid selection decisions, but too much cricket is wearing the players out AND weakening the Sheffield Shield. We're just lucky we're getting a little bit past the worst of the changeover and caught the Poms at a particular low.

  • on December 28, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    And it was the combined Boards (ECB & CA) that choose these back-to-back series.

  • andrew-schulz on December 28, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Actually, there have been two such back to back events in the Ashes: 1921 and 1975. On both occasions, Australia won home and away, not bothered by such ridiculous excuses as Pietersen puts forward. This looks really bad, Kevin.

  • timbeau on December 28, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    No doubt KP is a prodigious batting talent, but this talent does not seem to extend to his speech. what he says is more bizarre than wimbledon without rain. post olympic depression without the depression or negative frame of mind? bizarre analogy, to say the least. the man is a fruit cake. hopefully he does not catch warnitis and think everyone wants to hear his opinion. we just want to watch him bat. without a mind clouded by the desire to make comments.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Hurt by schedule = can not handle the pressure

  • Bones87 on December 28, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Warner and Johnson have been the difference between the teams. I think going from a home ashes to an away ashes is a tougher gig than the reverse, but those 2 have maximised their potential in this series and well, it's like a freight train running at full steam.

  • on December 28, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    What a joke, KP. Doesn't the schedule affect the Aussies? In fact, they also played a one-day series (a long one actually) in India in Oct. And what were the English cricketers doing then? This is same old England now, whining and complaining. They should accept that they are just not good enough this time around and thats why they are losing

  • nzcricket174 on December 28, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Australia went straight from getting smashed 4-0, to getting smashed 3-0, to some pointless ODIs in India. England shouldn't be complaining.

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  • nzcricket174 on December 28, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Australia went straight from getting smashed 4-0, to getting smashed 3-0, to some pointless ODIs in India. England shouldn't be complaining.

  • on December 28, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    What a joke, KP. Doesn't the schedule affect the Aussies? In fact, they also played a one-day series (a long one actually) in India in Oct. And what were the English cricketers doing then? This is same old England now, whining and complaining. They should accept that they are just not good enough this time around and thats why they are losing

  • Bones87 on December 28, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Warner and Johnson have been the difference between the teams. I think going from a home ashes to an away ashes is a tougher gig than the reverse, but those 2 have maximised their potential in this series and well, it's like a freight train running at full steam.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Hurt by schedule = can not handle the pressure

  • timbeau on December 28, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    No doubt KP is a prodigious batting talent, but this talent does not seem to extend to his speech. what he says is more bizarre than wimbledon without rain. post olympic depression without the depression or negative frame of mind? bizarre analogy, to say the least. the man is a fruit cake. hopefully he does not catch warnitis and think everyone wants to hear his opinion. we just want to watch him bat. without a mind clouded by the desire to make comments.

  • andrew-schulz on December 28, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Actually, there have been two such back to back events in the Ashes: 1921 and 1975. On both occasions, Australia won home and away, not bothered by such ridiculous excuses as Pietersen puts forward. This looks really bad, Kevin.

  • on December 28, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    And it was the combined Boards (ECB & CA) that choose these back-to-back series.

  • CoverDrive88 on December 28, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    I think he's probably right. In my opinion, a lot of Australia's problems have come from too much cricket - constant cricket in fact. Other factors were retiring players and stupid selection decisions, but too much cricket is wearing the players out AND weakening the Sheffield Shield. We're just lucky we're getting a little bit past the worst of the changeover and caught the Poms at a particular low.

  • on December 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    Erm Bones87... I think you're forgetting a certain bloke called Haddin in your statement. He has ridden to the rescue every time our batsmen have failed, including this morning.

  • cnksnk on December 28, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Kev. I think the word to describe cricketers now a days is professionals. If the English team is one then playing tests back to back should not be an issue. Most other teams do it. Also did Australia not also play 10 tests in a row. In fact they should complain of the schedule as they actually lost in England and can complain that they had little time to re group. Sorry but this series picked up the mirror and showed it on the England team faces for what it is - a very average team who combined for a brief period of around 1 years to produce good results. Nothing more.