Pietersen: 'I like to stand up and be counted on really tough days'
Friday 06 June 2008
Some sportsmen pride themselves on their modesty, deferentially underplaying their achievements even when there is no one to question the brilliance of their performance, preferring to acknowledge standing ovations with bashful reluctance.
Kevin Pietersen has sometimes tried to follow that model but you sense it does not come to him naturally. Yesterday there was no pretence.
After celebrating a stunning century extravagantly on the field, he could not resist leading the applause off it.
"I like to score runs when it counts and while it is good to score runs at any time it feels better still when we are in trouble," he said.
"Losing three wickets for two straight after lunch was not what we planned to do but it is at times like those that I like to score runs for England, when we are staring down the barrel.
"The hundred I scored in Napier when we were 36 for four, that was another. The Ashes hundred – there have been quite a few I've scored when we have been down in the dumps and it is something I pride myself on. I like to stand up to be counted on days when it is really tough, I think it is a good measure of character. At 86-5 we were staring down the barrel but I just wanted to come out and enjoy myself.
"I thought I was playing well, hitting the ball nicely and in good areas and my hands were working well. All good.
"A hundred here was very special. I have scored loads of runs here for Nottinghamshire but none for England so to get a hundred here for England was pretty special."
Interestingly, where Kyle Mills, whose removal of Andrew Strauss with the help of a poor shot just after lunch sparked England's mini-collapse, felt the ball swung less than he had expected, Pietersen's view of conditions was rather different.
"The ball did enough all day and the only thing that helped us was that the wicket was slow," he said. "It seamed and nipped around all day and if the wicket had not been slow we would have been in trouble."
He had words of sympathy for Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood in their struggle for form but insisted there was no one he could think of to take the place of either.
"I saw a list of the top run scorers in the country today and none of them can touch Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood."
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Sami Khedira, Isco and Angel di Maria among Real Madrid players up for grabs this summer
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers (and giant cans of Irn Bru) welcome in Glasgow's Games
Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains