Vaughan hails Pietersen as 'genius'

"Kevin Pietersen has that little bit of genius in him that allows him to go out and play an innings like that," he said.

"And I actually enjoy the fact that he has a life outside cricket, because he has shown in this series that he also has a lot of steel in him." The man himself, clearly smarting at criticism of his hair style, the fact that he wears ear-rings (courtesy of a sponsor) and a chain.

"I have copped a lot of abuse for all that but it's just something I wear in my ear, it's just a stupid hair style. I was taken aback that people felt it affected my cricket. It has nothing to do with my cricketing ability." But Pietersen soon returned to the England team's moment of triumph, playing down his role in it.

"It's just been fantastic. The team has been fantastic. And the transformation of the game in England has to be put down to a great Australian team and a great England team." But he did admit to being greatly moved at the end of his innings when his Hampshire team-mate and close friend Shane Warne left the triumphant Australian huddle and ran over to him.

"Warney is great. It was a special moment when he ran over to me. He said to me, 'Make sure you cherish this moment'."

Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, underlined the true spirit of sportsmanship that has prevailed throughout this series when he looked back on all the Tests. "We have fought hard, but the bottom line is that we were just not good enough," he said. "England have been very aggressive when they were bowling and when they were batting.

"Even in that first Test at Lord's the bowling was as hostile as anything we have faced. We won the Test, but from that moment on we have been below par."

But Ponting insisted that he would not let outside forces pressure him into standing down as captain. "I won't feel obliged to reconsider my position," he said, "just as long as I am doing right by the guys in the dressing-room and by the management."

His opposite number, Vaughan, sat back and tried to take stock of what he described as "an incredible series".

"I am not sure that cricket will ever get to this level again. We are not No 1 in the world, Australia are because they have been winning home and away over a number of years, but I am sure if we play good cricket this winter that the ratings might reflect the last few series. And this young team all have years of good cricket ahead of them."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital