'They won't give England a sniff' - Kevin Pietersen on Australia's strategy at Lord's
"They're not going to declare and say 'Hey England, let's see how brave you are.' They just won't do it, especially with a spinner [Nathan Lyon] down," Pietersen said.
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Former England batter Kevin Pietersen has shared his thoughts on the current state of the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Despite losing off-spinner Nathan Lyon to a calf strain, Australia are in a commanding position, leading by a healthy margin of 221 as England face an uphill battle in the remaining days of the match.
Pietersen believes that the Australian team will maintain their dominance and will continue with the same batting approach on Day 4, inflicting further misery upon the hosts.
"They won't give England a sniff. They're not going to declare and say 'Hey England, let's see how brave you are.' They just won't do it, especially with a spinner down," Pietersen shared his insights on the renowned cricket show "The Ashes Podcast" on Sky Sports Cricket.
The former cricketer also commended the Australian team for their strategic planning. He acknowledged that their batters give the bowlers ample time to rest between innings. Pietersen emphasized the advantage of bowling limited overs, stating, "If you bat just 70-75 overs, there's no fast bowler in the world in the opposition who thinks it's a bad thing. It's like bowling three spells and about 15 overs overall."
Usman Khawaja has looked in complete control: Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen reserved a special praise for Usman Khawaja, who has been the standout performer in the Ashes 2023 series. Khawaja's consistent performance with the bat has caught Pietersen's attention and the Englishman admired his unwavering focus and control, comparing him to Steve Smith.
"I have just loved the way how Usman Khawaja hasn't left his bubble. He has looked almost as in complete control as Steve Smith was yesterday. Usman Khawaja just went from ball one in Birmingham 'My series, my game. Come get me because I am not gonna get you,'" Pietersen expressed his admiration.
At the end of Day 3, Khawaja remained unbeaten on 58, ensuring Australia stay ahead going into the fourth day. He has the company of first-innings centurion Steve Smith (6*) at the crease, further strengthening Australia's prospects. Meanwhile, England face a daunting challenge to overcome the significant deficit as Khawaja's exceptional form has added an extra layer of excitement to the highly-anticipated Test.