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Ashes: Kevin Pietersen hopes to seal Adelaide Test win

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen's charismatic innings ensured England of a formidable lead

England batsman Kevin Pietersen was confident of victory after his unbeaten 213 put them 306 runs ahead with two days of the second Test remaining.

The tourists had amassed 551-4 when rain arrived to end play for the day.

"We had a clear idea where we wanted to be but we'll see how the weather is in the morning and push hard for victory.

"There's a lot of spin out of the rough which will play into Swanny's [Graeme Swann] hands and if we can bowl to our plans we can take 10 wickets," he said.

Pietersen was strangely out of sorts in England last summer, making only 140 runs in six Test innings against Pakistan.

But the input of former Kent and South Africa coach Graham Ford helped him regain his touch.

"I went to South Africa with Graham Ford, a very good friend of mine, and we were spending five to 10 hours every day in the nets.

"It came back to me and he got me back to the way I used to play and went through bits and pieces I had forgotten."

After the second double century of his Test career Pietersen told BBC Sport: "It was nice to get the runs and it's really really good we're in the position we are, 300-odd ahead of Australia with two days left in the Test match.

"Marcus North turned the ball square out of the rough and out of the foot holes and we're in a pretty good position."

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Pietersen has endured some difficult moments in recent years, losing the England captaincy in January 2009 after disagreements with then England coach Peter Moores and suffering an Achilles injury that required surgery.

"I've been very fortunate to see a lot of the good stuff, I've obviously had a little bit of the ugly stuff, but it also builds character, builds you up as a person and I feel in pretty good shape at the moment," he said.

The charismatic 30-year-old has also received criticism for needlessly getting out to unnecessary shots on occasions.

"That's something I've worked on as well, making sure I can go through the gears, come down the gears as well and then go back up is something I've been working hard mentally on," he explained.

"At the start of my career I was one of those who would go from first, second, third, fourth, fifth then I wouldn't be able to go back down to fourth and third, I'd get myself on 80, 90, the early hundreds or get myself out in the thirties.

"It's key I control my aggression and get myself back to third gear."

Watson admits rain delay is a 'plus'

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson described Pietersen as a "world-class" performer.

"He's a very, very skilful batsman, and the way he's built - how tall and strong he is - means he's got a couple more gears in his play," he said.

"When he's going he can really take an attack down. Some of the things he does are pretty special, but it would still have been nice to have not experienced them over the last day or so."

Watson admitted that the rain on day three had been "a plus" for the Australians.

He added: "We are going to have to bat unbelievably well over the next couple of days in order to save the game.

"We're way behind. We've only got ourselves to blame. There's no doubt the English have bowled very well and batted very well and so far we have been totally outplayed."

Meanwhile, Australia captain Ricky Ponting has confirmed that opener Simon Katich will be fit to bat in their second innings after suffering a heel injury in the field.

Katich, who was run out without facing a ball on the first morning in Adelaide, was forced to leave the field for a lengthy period.

"He'll get as much ice on it as possible knowing that he's got a lot of batting to do over the next couple of days," said Ponting.

"He'll be OK, he's a pretty tough character as we know."

Watson added: "It's going to take a lot to stop him from batting. It's going to be interesting to see our running between wickets after our first debacle.

"He'll be out there fighting, though, I just have to make sure I don't run him out."



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see also
Pietersen gives England huge lead
05 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Second Ashes Test in photos
05 Dec 10 |  England
Cook ton puts England in command
04 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England dominate in Adelaide Test
03 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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