England’s Kevin Pietersen, who makes his Test debut tomorrow, has hit out
even before the first ball has been bowled in anger.

He’s accused
the Aussies of being bullies. “It’s stating
the obvious, I think, that they come across here to try to bully and just take
over,” BBC Sport reports him saying.
“We’ve seen how good they are in the last two one-dayers so we’re not
going to say we’re going to nail them, but we’re going to stand up and be
counted.”

If the Australian attack hadn’t
already identified Pietersen as a primary target, the bull’s-eye just got a whole lot
bigger. Normally you could expect a
Test match rookie to be doing everything in his power to stay out of the Aussies’ gun
sights, but Pietersen’s attitude is typical of an England team
that won’t take a backward step against Australia.

It’s notable that he dares to do
it when history shows Lord’s is about the last place on earth you should try to
rattle the Aussie cage – Australia hasn’t lost there since
1934.

Let’s hope Pietersen really does take it up to us
because someone has to respond to
all the Australian talk this week about what they intend
to do to England. It would be nice to see a little of that typical
Aussie arrogance given a few clouts over the bowlers’ ear.

Peter Fray

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