Ashes 2017/18: Kevin Pietersen Slams ‘Scared’ England, Says Alastair Cook ‘Not Very Interested’
Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has savaged Joe Root & Co. after their stunning capitulation in the first two Ashes Tests, and ha put questions on Cook’s seriousness so far.
Trailing 2-0 in the five-match series, the visitors had looked far from being convincing in the first two games and are now in danger of losing the urn.
After losing the first Test in Brisbane by ten wickets, they had a good chance of levelling the series in Adelaide when they needed to chase down 354 and began the final day on 176 or four. However, their hopes ended within a couple of hours, as Australia took the remaining wickets for just 57 runs to bowl them out for 233.
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And while critics have been taking a shot at the whole team, Pietersen singled out his former teammate and captain Alastair Cook, saying England’s leading run-scorer in Tests is ‘not very interested’ in the Ashes ahead of his 150th Test. He went on to claim England’s batsmen look ‘scared’ of Australia.
Cook had managed just 62 runs in four innings so far, making Pietersen say that the opening batsman has lost interest.
“Cook is all over the place,” said Pietersen, who is commentating for Channel Nine and BT.
“I don’t know if he can turn things around. It just looks like Cook is not very interested. Just the way he’s got out, the manner of his dismissals and also the way he’s walked off the field once he’s got out.
“That’s the sign of a bloke who goes ‘you know what, maybe my time is up? But he’s also quite resilient so can he turn it around? He’s a wonderful player, has been for a hell of a long time and this is his 150th Test, so you never know.
“That fire burns in your belly for a number of years and then eventually it starts to go out. I had spotted it before the series, and there’s certainly no signs at the moment to prove there’s any fire in Cook’s belly,” he added.
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Pietersen’s comments, meanwhile, have come at a very precarious time for England. The visitors are facing tough times not only on the field but also off it.
On Saturday (December 9), they were rocked by yet another alcohol-related incident after Ben Duckett was accused of pouring a pint of beer over James Anderson and was subsequently suspended.
Pietersen went to take a shot at England’s batting line-up that has failed to put up a brave face in front of Australia’s pacers.
“These Australian bowlers are not bowling at speed the England batsmen haven’t faced before,” said Pietersen who had faced the wrath of Mitchell Johnson four years ago.
“So to me, it looks like the England batters are making out in their heads that this is some of the fastest and scariest bowling they’ve ever faced and they just look nervous when they go out to bat. It’s frustrating as a commentator because I want to see someone try to get on top of the Australian bowlers. That’s what I did in my career.
“You need to show them you’re not scared and you’re not worried, but there’s no-one in that England side at the moment that doesn’t look scared. That’s my issue,” he added.
The former England star also criticised Joe Root who has failed to lead from the front so far. The right-handed batsman is facing widespread criticism for failing to convert his starts in big ones.
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“Joe Root hasn’t set the world on fire at all, absolutely not by any stretch of the imagination,” said Pietersen. “So it’s not as if we’re going to blame everyone else. You need to lead from the front in Australia.”
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