It’ll all be over by Christmas, declares Pietersen
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.