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The Daily Mail
Monday 1st Augest
 

Nasser Hussain :You made your test debut at lords , yet you preformed like a veteran . You must have dreamt about it beforehand and imagined what it would be like . What surprised you ?

Kevin Pietersen: I just have to think back to the first evening of the test around 8pm and I was sitting with mum and dad . Suddenly my eyes started watering . I was shattered . Physically I was gone . It takes it out of you like I never imagined . Every single ball there’s so much pressure .id fielded for most of the day , then I batted for a couple of hours . I was concentrating so hard to give myself a good start. The expectations that were on my shoulders , the difficult position I was in while batting . It was awesome.

Nasser Hussain :I’ve never known so much hype before a test match . You had been preferred to a legend in Graham Thorpe yet you seemed to cope with everything so well .

Kevin Pietersen: I liked the way the country were backing us and getting excited before hand . I liked the hype . I said I was going to enjoy it and I absolutely loved it .

Nasser Hussain :That sort of hype which you appear to thrive on has had a negative effect on many good players like Graeme hick and mark Ramprakash .Some people succumb to the pressure , yet you came straight in against the best team there’s ever been , and were England’s best batsman . How do you do it ?

Kevin Pietersen: The key to me is not blowing everything out of proportion . I don’t care if ive got Shane warne bowling at me or a Bangladeshi . I’m just looking at the ball from the moment of release .People asked me what it would be like making my debut in such a massive game and I said” Yes its massive but it’s just a game of cricket . Win or lose the sun will rise the next day “ I had got to that point through my ability and I merited my selection so I didn’t have anything to prove .

Nasser Hussain :So it was Thursday morning and alarm went off . Did you jump out of bed shouting “BRING THEM ON “ Or did you just sit there like I did every test morning , with butterflies and fidgeting around ?

 

Kevin Pietersen: Yes, I was nervous , I wouldn’t be human otherwise, but I went through every situation that I could face . I thought about how the aussies would bowl at me . Id already spoken to a few people about the best ways to play them .There was no point worrying about the moment I was going to bat because at some point , unless it rained for five days , I was going to bat . What’s the point in getting wound up about it ? I remember early in my innings , when Brett lee was running in at me , thinking : “if you cant enjoy this you’re never enjoy anything” that stuck with me .

Nasser Hussain :What about facing Shane Warne ?He’s not only a legend but someone you’ve got to know really well .

Kevin Pietersen: That made it a hell of a lot easier for me . I knew warney said anything to me it would be tongue and cheek . Hes not going to abuse me or crucify me like he does with a lot of opponents .But then again he was there to perform to his country and I was there to perform for mine . When we crossed that line he was doing his utmost to get me out and I was doing my utmost to hit him around .

Nasser Hussain : I spoke to shane and asked him why he went around the wicket to you and he said he was playing with you .He had tried you out cricketing wise and he was trying to test you non cricketing wise. Was he challenging your ego to see if you were going to kick him away ?

Kevin Pietersen: Yes . I asked “were you trying to get me out that way?2 and he said”I was waiting for you to get yourself out “Didn’t work . Did It .

Nasser Hussain : You said you visualised their bowlers bowling at you and the various situations you might find yourself in . Have you always done that or was that just for the test ?

Kevin Pietersen: In international cricket I’ve always done that . In county cricket you can get into a zone and just cruise , scoring runs and scoring runs . You just sit in the comfort zone and think :” This is jus another days cricket.” But that can lead to bad habits , so recently I’ve said “ Come on , Knuckle down , think about everything that could possibly happen to you. I think over the four years ive been in England ive learnt my game pretty well. People can say things about my technique but that’s the way I play . I cant do anything about it and I don’t want to . It has brought me this far and I will continue to play the way I do .

Nasser Hussain : I spoke to coach Duncan Fletcher about you after the one-day international at Bristol when you won the game for England and he said you where one of the cleverest cricketers he had ever worked with, the way you use your feet .

Kevin Pietersen: I think that’s come from the different experiences I’ve had . County cricket has taught me a lot . I’ve played something like 70or 80 first class games and more than 100 one-dayers . I like to sit down and pick peoples brains and I like to watch a lot of cricket, see what people are doing , hear what they are saying . My ex girlfriend used to get so pissed off with me. Whenever there was good cricket on the TV I’d have to watch it .

Nasser Hussain : I must admit having seen the number of low score in your career and watching you in south Africa shuffling a long way across your crease , I was worried about your technique at the highest level . But at lords , of the 22 batsmen on view , you were faultless . You hardly played and missed on a poor pitch in a low scoring game and there were hardly any lbw shouts .

Kevin Pietersen: Don’t forgot that Brett lee full toss- That was out ! I got away with that . Well I’ve always realised that I can learn from constructive criticism . If someone says I’m a slogger im not interested because I know I’m not , but I have listened to other comments and I feel I can react to different game situations . If I had been a one dimensional player I could have settled for a good living in the county cricket , get my benefit , pick up a 100 grand , job done , thank you very much . But I’ve always wanted to achieve more than that . I’ve worked very hard at my technique tried to minimise my movements at the crease . But I’ve also tried to make my foot movements more decisive. In the nets at the start of this season I just told myself to stand still and hit every ball without moving at all. Then I concentrated on making just small foot movements . Ill probably be out first ball lbw at edge Aston after saying this , but after people claimed I might be a lbw candidate I worked hard on eliminating that scenario and have only been out lbw twice this season . And you know what ? Neither was out . They were both full tosses going down leg .

Nasser Hussain : How did the dressing room react to the lords defeat ? Ashley Giles told sports mail he was angry with some of the criticism .

Kevin Pietersen: I can understand what gilo said . The blokes done so well for England its harsh to nail him after one game . I dropped three catches so people can nail me for that . I was not because I don’t work hard on my catching . I take more in practice than anyone.

Nasser Hussain : Someone said you also looked over excited and maybe snatched at them ?

Kevin Pietersen: I Think it’s a positive thing to be excited playing in a test for England . Part of my role is to lift people in the flied . I’m fit I love running around and diving . The drop happened . No Excuses. The one of Ricky pointing was really difficult but the other two I just have a clue . I can picture lee cutting the ball straight at me and I dropped it . I didn’t drop any in practice or in one-dayers . I’ve got good hands .

Nasser Hussain : The positive thing is it didn’t affect your batting

Kevin Pietersen: As soon as you drop a catch you have to forget about it . You must make you don’t drop the next one .

Nasser Hussain : There’s no worse feeling than dropping a catch in a test . Its worse than getting a duck . Its up on the big screen ,people groan . Its good to hear you wanted the next ball to come to you because I known plenty of players who didn’t . what have you felt you need to work on between the tests.

Kevin Pietersen: The need to be consistent . I must go out at Edgbaston on Thursday with the same intensity , the same mind set . Australia threw everything at me . They went at me for two hours outside off stump . Then they tried to get me out LBW bowling at my legs and then went to bumper theory . Lee tried to kill me and that wasn’t very nice . I came though it and I can take great heart from that .

Nasser Hussain : Did you have specific plans for each of their bowlers ?

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“Who needs James Bond when you can watch Kevin Pietersen”

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