Former England player Kevin Pietersen has backed England’s Bazball style of cricket after they got all out for 325 in their first innings of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s in London on Friday, June 28. The veteran also took a dig at critics for calling the batters ‘brainless’, claiming that even he used to play an aggressive brand of cricket during his stunning career. He said this as Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett got out to short-length deliveries as well.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kevin Pietersen said: “So, that’s why I saw, ‘I can’t really answer this’ [question of England’s batting approach] because I know, there are a lot of people that have said, ‘Brainless batting’. I am going, ‘I was pretty brainless too’. People hated it but that’s the way that I played.”
He continued: “When somebody is bowling at 90 miles an hour, you know this. It’s easy for a journalist to sit downstairs, who has never faced a cricket ball and start spraying, ‘brainless this, brainless that’. 90 miles an hour, a delivery over your head, it rocks your foundation, it’s not comfortable and sometimes instinct takes over and sometimes, you just can’t help it.”
However, Kevin Pietersen defended England’s batters and said that attack is the best form of defence as well. Notably, Pietersen was the highest run-scorer of Ashes 2005 (473 in five Tests), when Michael Vaughan-led England won the series 2-1 as well.
“(On England’s short ball problem) I played the way that they played [Bazball] and I saw the best form of defense being attack. Every single time it happened it me, against Australia [in Ashes], with Morne Morkel at Leeds. Brett Lee in 2005, that’s when I started. When he bowled at the speed of light and certainly, I tried, defended one, it flew over Gully and I said, ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore,’” he again shared.
“Who goes and does the hard stuff? Practices bouncers every single series with a bowling machine, 92-mile-an-hour bouncers, not many people do it. I did it for one series in 2006. I never did it again because it’s horrible, you hurt, get hit and it’s not nice,” he concluded.