Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pietersen Confident England Can Hurt Aussies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pietersen Confident England Can Hurt Aussies

Article excerpt

Byline: By Myles Hodgson

Kevin Pietersen believes England's disappointing start to this winter's Ashes series underlines Australia's strength and highlights just how impressive last year's victory over them was.

Successive defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide have put Australia in pole position to reclaim the Ashes they lost against expectations just 14 months ago, a target they could achieve with victory in this week's third Test at the WACA.

England's struggles have attracted scorn and criticism, particularly their dramatic slide towards defeat on the final day at the Adelaide Oval, and have prompted comparisons with the dark days of one-sided Ashes campaigns of the past.

But Pietersen believes England have not been given enough credit for their memorable Ashes triumph on home soil ( and has found plenty of room for optimism in the manner they played for the first four days in Adelaide.

"I've always said that I don't think people realise how good it was to beat Australia in England," said Pietersen. "Everyone thought we'd come out here and it was going to be level-pegging but you get a champion in a corner and he'll come back at you.

"These blokes are a champion team, probably the best Australian team they've ever had, and they've come back doubly hard.

"Adelaide was fantastic for us for those first four days and we played magnificent cricket against this side in testing conditions."

Having battled so hard for the opening four days, however, England's capitulation to Shane Warne on the final morning sealed their fate and enabled Australia to claim a six-wicket triumph.

"It was just two hours and if we can put that behind us, which I think we have done looking at the way we've gone about this week, if we put in five good days then we can spin a good result for us and the series," he insisted. "We played a bad couple of hours but there's an opportunity for us to turn the series around."

Captain Andrew Flintoff added: "We know this is a huge week for us and we definitely don't want to be here next week talking about being 3-0 down in the series. …

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