It’ll all be over by Christ­mas, de­clares Pietersen

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

KEVIN PIETERSEN claimed Eng­land would se­cure the Ashes be­fore Christ­mas if they re­peat the stun­ning per­for­mance that sealed vic­tory over Aus­tralia in Ade­laide this week.

Eng­land lead 1-0 with three Tests re­main­ing, mean­ing the urn will be re­tained if they tri­umph in the Third Test in Perth, be­gin­ning on Thurs­day.

Aus­tralia were fin­ished off ruth­lessly at the Ade­laide Oval, Eng­land seal­ing their 100th Ashes Test win, and their biggest in Aus­tralia since 1966, by an in­nings and 71 runs.

It was a com­plete con­trast to 2006, when Eng­land con­trived to lose the Test de­spite scor­ing 551 for six de­clared in the first in­nings and were white­washed 5-0 in the se­ries.

“If we go to Perth, play good cricket and do not get com­pla­cent, then we will keep the Ashes,” said Pietersen, who was named man-of-the-match for his Test-best 227 in Eng­land’s only in­nings of 620 for five de­clared.

“We have to keep do­ing the right things,” Pietersen said.

“What a sad place the dress­in­groom in Ade­laide was four years ago. It was hor­ri­ble to walk back in there. It was quiet, neg­a­tive and not as united as now. It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing to go 1-0 up in an Ashes se­ries af­ter be­ing so bad here four years ago.

“Our bowlers were su­perb and then the bats­men filled their boots on days two and three.”

Eng­land’s joy though was damp­ened by the news that Stu­art Broad will miss the rest of the tour with a torn ab­dom­i­nal mus­cle.

An­drew Strauss is on the brink of be­com­ing the first Eng­land cap­tain since Mike Gat­ting in 1986-87 to lead a suc­cess­ful Ashes cam­paign Down Un­der but this was his first taste of a Test win in Aus­tralia.

His fo­cus is now at the Mel- bourne Cricket Ground, where Eng­land started a three-day match against Vic­to­ria yes­ter­day.

“It was a spe­cial vic­tory for us and it ex­or­cised some of the demons from four years ago,” Strauss said.

“It’s im­por­tant we don’t let Aus­tralia back in the se­ries. Stu­art Broad is dis­traught and we are dev­as­tated for him, but the show moves on.

“In Mel­bourne, we will see which of the three bowlers – Chris Trem­lett, Aj­mal Shahzad and Tim Bres­nan – looks the most po­tent and the most suited for Perth.” – London Evening Stan­dard

YEAH BABY: Kevin Pietersen cel­e­brates win in sec­ond Test.

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