Australia beat England by two wickets in the first Test of the Ashes 2023 at Edgbaston. While many were not happy with Ben Stokes’ decision of declaring early in the first innings, former player Kevin Pietersen is yet to get over that as well. Saying that he’s still dumbfounded, Pietersen added that he even approached England coach Brendon McCullum to try and find out the logic behind this as well. Notably, England declared their first innings on Day 1 at 393-8 and eventually lost the game too.
In an interaction with former England captain Nasser Hussain for the Daily Mail, Pietersen said: “We are at a time where Test cricket needs something to turn itself around because there is so much competition. But I am answering this slowly because I am still not 100 per cent sure … No, I would never have declared. Because against Australia, first day of the Ashes, 393, thinking you’ve got enough on a flat wicket. There was almost method in my madness. The way that I played, I wasn’t looking to throw the game away. I was looking to get the score going. I was looking to win. I’m just not 100 per cent convinced yet in how extremely positive.”
England won the toss in the Edgbaston Test and elected to bat first. Joe Root was going good and unbeaten on 118 off 152 when Ben Stokes asked him to stop and declared as well. Meanwhile, on his interaction with England Test coach McCullum over the hosts’ premature declaration, Kevin Pietersen said:
“I love the positivity. But it’s just this series, in particular, that I still need to get my head around. I actually walked up to McCullum on the Saturday and said, ‘Please explain this to me because I don’t understand it’.”I have done that my whole career. I gave you a spray in Australia in 2006. I was like, ‘Dude what are you saying, and why are you saying this?’.”
“I think that is a big thing for an individual. We both played in eras where if you got caught at cover having a flash, or caught at deep square leg, you got into a lot of trouble. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. And I think that’s how you get the best out of an individual,” he concluded.
England and Australia will play the second Ashes 2023 Test at Lord’s on June 28.