The Ashes 2013-14: Happy Kevin Pietersen raring to get stuck into battle

 

Kevin Pietersen has insisted that he has no intention of imminent retirement and sounded ready to eat Australia for breakfast. In an enthralling series of interviews on the eve of the Ashes, of the kind he had resolutely refused to give in the past 15 months, he reiterated his attachment to Test cricket in general and the England team in particular.

"I know there've been a lot of people talking about my career because I haven't been talking about it over the last 12 months, saying that I'm probably going to finish at the end of this," he said. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it's my opinion that I'll be playing for a while yet. I'm loving playing with this side, pulling on an England jersey and arriving in Brisbane."

England will enter The Gabba tomorrow trying to win the Ashes for the fourth successive time with an unexpected side. Michael Carberry will open the batting, Chris Tremlett will be the third seam bowler and Jonny Bairstow may keep wicket if Matt Prior fails to recover from his calf injury. The tourists are giving their wicketkeeper every opportunity to show his fitness and Prior came through a rigorous practice session.

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