Centurion - Kevin Pietersen has been free with his advice to England ahead of day two of the second Ashes Test against Australia on Thursday.
After winning the first Test in a tense climax, Australia again found themselves in a strong position at stumps on day one at Lord’s in London. Australia were 339/5 at stumps, boasting a run-rate of over 4, and with Steve Smith 15 short of a 32nd Test century.
Australia got off to the perfect start in the second Test with David Warner (66) and Usman Khawaja (17) putting on 73 for the first wicket in 23.1 overs. Though the openers fell in quick succession, Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Smith (85*) put on 102 for the third wicket. Another 100-plus (118) partnership followed between Travis Head (77) and Smith, before England replied with two wickets before the close of play.
It leaves the match interestingly poised with four days remaining, and a strong start for the hosts on the second day could prove pivotal.
The SA-born Pietersen has always been known for his aggressive approach to the game, and the former England captain tweeted on Thursday morning ahead of day two: “Come on,
@englandcricket! Stand tall today and take it to the Australians. Stop being so nice and get some mongrel in you! Take those 5 wickets quick and bat well! This is The Ashes and not an exhibition game!”
England are also currently known for their aggressive approach (commonly referred to as ‘Bazball’) to Test cricket under coach Brendon McCullum,
Whether England adopt an even more aggressive approach, with a ‘bit of mongrel’ remains to be seen. The 43-year-old Pietersen, of course, is quite sure his advice will prove to be sage.