Cricket

Kevin Pietersen: Assesses England's performance.

Kevin Pietersen extremely critical of two England stars after first Ashes Test defeat

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The Ashes 2017-18 series began with Australia and England matching each other at every juncture.

That is, until day 3 of the first Test in Brisbane.

In the following two days, the visitors endured a difficult time as the Aussies registered a comfortable win to lead the five-match series 1-0.

Although it was close after both sides ended their first innings, England began the fourth day at 33-2 at the Gabba, and much to their astonishment, they could only add 162 runs more, concluding the innings at 195 all out.

Needing just 170 runs for victory, the hosts looked confident right from the start.

David Warner, partnered by Cameron Bancroft, scored 87 and 82 respectively, wrapping up proceedings within 50 overs without losing a wicket.

An emphatic 10-wicket win for Australia, while England were rightfully criticised by experts during the aftermath of the contest.

Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen did not hold back on his opinion as he was asked to assess the performance of Joe Root’s team.

Working for BT Sport as a pundit, Pietersen absolutely savaged the England squad during his analysis, especially speedster duo James Anderson and Jake Ball for their abysmal display.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 4

The 37-year-old said: “The concern is the tail of England, it didn't wag.

“The concern is top order, nobody seemed to be able to play the short ball well. You want to score runs in Australia you have got to play the short ball well.

“Concerns over [Jimmy] Anderson, did he produce in this Test match? No he didn't.

“Is Jake Ball any good? I don't think so. Not at this level. Not in Australia, from what I've just seen.

“Especially with the hype leading into this match, about him wanting to make the Test match and him playing this Test match.”

Australia v England - First Test: Day 1

He also added that the injury to Moeen Ali’s finger was one of the turning points as England had no depth in the spin department apart from the off-spinner.

“The cut on Moeen Ali's finger. There are concerns, there are issues."

Pietersen predicted if England fail to recoup themselves and succumb to the same consequence in the second Test at Adelaide next week, it would indeed turn out to be a strenuous tour, to say the least.

“If they [England] go down in Adelaide, well, this is going to be a long trip.

“There are a lot of issues. I'm not going to stand here and say everything's bright and breezy in that dressing room.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 1

“They were competing up to the middle of day two but they've been absolutely smashed.”

Asked whether he would want to see any changes in the line-up for the following Test match, Pietersen quickly replied he would replace Ball with Mason Crane.

“I'd make a change. I wouldn't play Ball in the next test match, absolutely not. Absolutely no chance.

“Mason Crane I'd play. I know it's under lights but it gives that variation of a leg spin bowler. One spinning away, one spinning in.

“Moeen Ali, we've got an issue with his finger. Do you want Joe Root bowling all the overs? No, I don't think you do. You've got to get another spinner in there.”

He later took to Twitter and posted: “An absolute hammering! #Ashes”

The rivalry resumes for the second Test on December 2 at Adelaide which would be a day-night contest.

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Topics:
Australia cricket
Kevin Pietersen
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket

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