Pietersen would now be more dangerous as batsman: Warne

January 9th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 9 (IANS) Shane Warne has warned Australia to be wary of Kevin Pietersen in the Ashes as he would be even more dangerous as a player after stepping down from the England captaincy. Pietersen walked away from his leadership duties Wednesday after a bitter feud with coach Peter Moores, who was sacked soon after Pietersen quit.

As Pietersen prepares to head to the West Indies as a rank-and-file player under new skipper Andrew Strauss, Warne said his controversial mate would become an even more threatening cricketer.

“Kevin is a guy who likes the limelight, he likes to be the man,” Warne was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph. “He’s obviously got a pretty big ego as well, so that will be dented a bit. But he’s also got the ability, no matter what’s going on, to perform.

“One thing is for sure. England needs Kevin Pietersen. He’s their best player and one of the best players in the world and England needs him to perform.

“This situation will stir his emotions. He’ll be bitterly disappointed at the lack of support from the England Cricket Board and I am sure this will drive him to become an even stronger player. Come the Ashes, beware of Kevin Pietersen because he could lift his game to another level.”

Warne said he wished the situation had never occurred.

“As a friend of Kevin’s, I’m disappointed he’s no longer captain of England. The thing with him he was only going to improve as he went, like every captain does.”

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