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."

News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
United States President Barack Obama, right, uses actor Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele to play the part of 'Luther, President Obama's anger translator'
video
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions