Cook backs Pietersen to fire on cricket’s big Ashes stage

November 1st, 2010 - 3:03 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 1 (ANI): England vice-captain Alastair Cook has defended Kevin Pietersen by negating that the under-siege batsman could become a major problem for the tourists this summer and hoped that the challenge of retaining the Ashes would be the perfect stage for Pietersen to bounce back to his best form.

His comments have come after former Australia coach John Buchanan stirred the Ashes pot earlier this month when he claimed Pietersen could have a negative effect on the English side if he can’t return to his best form.

“He’s obviously had a difficult 12 months with his form but his work ethic over those 12 months has been the hardest I’ve seen him work at his game,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Cook, as saying.

“Talent like that and the stats he’s got behind him show what a great player he is. Great players might lose their form for a little bit but they come back and a big series like this - I think it’s just about the right time to come back and I know he’s desperate to prove to people he’s still a great player,” he added.

Pietersen, who has failed to strike a Test hundred in his past 26 innings, hit back by labelling Buchanan ‘a nobody’ and Cook was adamant his high-profile team-mate was ready to prove the doubters wrong, the paper said.

Cook also has a point to prove this summer, with the 25-year-old opener clearly frustrated with his return of just 498 runs at 26.21 over his 10 Tests against Australia.

“The one side I haven’t played as well against as the other sides has been Australia. I’ve got that point to prove over the next three months,” he added. (ANI)

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