Pietersen says Ashes victory in Australia would be career high

Kevin Pietersen admits winning the Ashes Down Under would be the pinnacle of his career.

The South-African born star played a key role in England winning their first Ashes series in 18 years in 2005 and also took part in last summer's successful campaign on home soil.



The one victory which has escaped the 30-year-old so far though is victory Down Under.



Pietersen may have scored 490 runs the last time England played in Australia but his achievements were not matched by his team-mates as Andrew Flintoff led the team to a humiliating 5-0 defeat.



Pietersen, who is part of the 16-man team that will fly to Perth tomorrow to take part in England's latest Ashes defence, is confident that the current team are capable of winning back the famous Urn in Australia - a feat which he would regard as the finest of his international career.



"It would be the best thing ever to win Down Under and I think we can do it," said Pietersen.



"It is huge for an England cricketer to go to Australia to take part in an Ashes series.



"You don't win there often. I have been part of two winning series in the UK and have lost one in Australia.



"I'm really looking forward to this one though because I think we can go and do a lot better than we did last time."



Pietersen has endured what he describes as an "interesting" 12 months which has seen him win the ICC World Twenty20 and father his first child while continuing to struggle for form in all forms of the game.



Pietersen's failure to hit a Test century since the start of last year had caused the England selectors to drop their star batsman for the ODI series against Pakistan in order to give him more time in the middle in the first-class arena with Surrey.



Before being dropped, the former Nottinghamshire man struggled in the Pakistan Test series, which was overshadowed by allegations of spot-fixing against three of the touring party.



Pietersen believes that the off-the-field controversy which dogged the tour will help England cope with the inevitable hype which will surround the team's quest to win their first Ashes series Down Under since Mike Gatting led the team to victory in 1987.



"The Pakistan series was a beautiful little curtain raiser for Australia," said Pietersen.



"The guys have been through some tough times against Pakistan with all the stuff that went on off the field and the guys came up trumps."



The rivalry between the two sides was exposed today as images of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke were projected on London's iconic landmark Big Ben as part of an advertising campaign ahead of the series.



The pictures were accompanied by the words: "Don't forget the urn" , a phrase that, although intended in jest, clearly projected the message that Australia would fight tooth and nail to win the Ashes back.



Despite this, Pietersen thinks all the barbs exchanged between the two sides will amount to nothing when play begins on November 25.



"It's all part of the Ashes build-up. It's more of a media thing than anything else," said Pietersen, who also feels there will be little sledging on the pitch too.



"There's sledging off the field but there won't be much on it. It just doesn't happen," he continued.



Respected figures within the game contend that England can win the series against Australia, who recently lost 2-0 in India.



Any suggestions that the hosts will be easily beaten were denied by Pietersen though.



"They're not a spent force," he said. "In Australia they will be a tough team to beat. They will be right at us and we will have to play our best cricket to compete with them."





Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor