Reverse swing should do the trick for us again: KP

Birmingham,AFP:


Pietersen, rejecting Australia great Shane Warne’s claim that England are a ‘one-man team’ who cannot win without their batting star, said pace bowling held the key to England’s Ashes hopes.

In 2005, the ‘Fab Four’ of Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones undermined a strong Australian top-order, with much of their success down to the mastery of reverse swing.

Although, with Jones injured, Hoggard long since dropped and Harmison out of favour, only Flintoff out of that quartet is on course to start in next week’s first Test in Cardiff, Pietersen is backing the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad to cause Australia problems.

The current dry and hot conditions in England offer an environment conducive to reverse-swing and Pietersen, speaking at Edgbaston on Monday, said, “I am sure the Australians are probably hoping the weather doesn’t stay like this because Anderson, Broad, Flintoff bowling reverse swing ...I wouldn’t want to be facing that.

“We’re going to be really tough to play against,” added Pietersen ahead of the start of England’s warm-up match here against Warwickshire, which got under way on Tuesday.

“If batters do conquer our reverse-swing, I look forward to watching them. It will take some serious batting against those bowlers, all at 90mph reverse-swinging it both ways.”

As for the latest comment by retired leg-spinner Warne, his former captain at Hampshire, Pietersen said, “It’s a compliment coming from a legend of the game. But England are certainly not a one-man team.

“We’ve got (Andrew) Strauss who scored so many hundreds recently; Alastair Cook has also scored hundreds in the last six months; (Paul) Collingwood the same, (Ravi) Bopara three in his last three Test innings.

“I’ve scored a few, Flintoff has come back into the team, Matty Prior’s batting has been outstanding. That’s without even talking about our bowlers.” As well as Warne, Australia are now without several retired stars in openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, fast bowler Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist.

Pietersen believes the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman Gilchrist will be an especially big loss for Australia.

“The big one that we don’t see is Gilchrist coming in at seven,” he noted. “In Perth (during England’s 2006-07 5-0 Ashes defeat) when he came in and hit one of the quickest hundreds in history, that was demoralising.”

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