One bad shot undoes Pietersen in Ashes test

ROGER VAUGHAN
Last updated 01:53 28/12/2013

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Kevin Pietersen had anchored the English first innings with the sort of patient, deliberate knock that the circumstances demanded.

He had Stuart Broad, who is no mug, as his batting partner.

His first century of this Ashes tour beckoned.

And then he went and played that shot.

His attempt at an agricultural hoick only found air and Mitch Johnson bowled him for 71 early on day two of the Boxing Day Test.

For all the fine work that Pietersen had done the day before, his dismissal again ignited fierce commentary about how he plays the game.

No-one quite polarises opinion in cricket like KP.

Before this Test, former teammate Graeme Swann raised eyebrows when he said some current players had their heads up their backsides.

It was assumed widely that he was referring to Pietersen, which Swann later denied vehemently.

Pietersen himself said he was feeling as good as gold coming into the Boxing Day match.

But one shocking shot undid four hours of solid work.

Teammate Jimmy Anderson was diplomatic when asked about the dismissal.

"I'm not sure. You'll have to ask Kev about that," Anderson said.

"He obviously felt that was the right way for him to go this morning."

Australian opener Chris Rogers was similarly non-committal on the subject, other than noting that when it comes off for him, Pietersen is unstoppable.

"That's their tactics, so I can't really comment on that," Rogers said.

"He's looking to take us on and if KP does take you on and gets away with it, he can hurt you.

"He was batting with the tail and that's what his choice was.

"I'm not here to judge that one really."

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