Kevin Pietersen talks about England's desire to put in a display at Melbourne
By Dave Clark
Kevin Pietersen says England owe it to their travelling supporters to up their level of performance for the two remaining Ashes Tests.
Australia have already regained the urn after convincing wins in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to establish an unassailable 3-0 lead.
But Pietersen, speaking ahead of the fourth Test in Melbourne which starts on Boxing Day, insists England are still determined to play with pride for the remainder of the series.
“We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to a lot of people who’ve paid a lot of money to come over here and support us, especially here in Melbourne and Sydney,” said Pietersen.
“We’ve let a lot of people down and we now need to turn ourselves on and that starts today.
“We have just underperformed. We’ve set ourselves very high targets and we’ve set ourselves good goals and we just haven’t achieved them.
“The Australians have played much better cricket. When you sign up to be a sportsman you sign up to winning, you sign up to lose and we’re losing at the moment.
“We’ve done some great stuff as a team. You can’t change what’s happened but you can change what’s going to happen. We’ve had some decent conversations over the last few days about how we want to try and turn things around.”
While Pietersen admits that England’s level of performance needs to improve, the 33-year-old insists he will not be shying away from his naturally attacking game.
The right-hander has been criticised in some quarters for giving his wicket away on occasion during the tour Down Under.
But Pietersen feels he is in the sort of form that will see him go on and achieve a big score at some stage.
“I’ve got myself in every single time,” he added. “I felt like a clown in Adelaide when I hit that ball to midwicket off [Peter] Siddle.
“I just didn’t feel good at the crease at all and some days you have them. Every single other time I’ve batted on this trip I’ve felt really good and I’ve got myself in every time.
“A couple of times I’ve got myself out and a couple of times fortune didn’t favour the brave. It’s just a case of making sure that I keep doing what I do because it has proved successful. If the situation dictates I’ve proved over the years that I’ll play to the situation of the game.”
On what England need to do to turn their fortunes around, Pietersen insists that hard work in training will eventually pay off.
And Pietersen is drawing comfort from the way Australia responded to losing the Ashes after a winning streak in 2005.
“We want to improve,” he said of the tourists. “They’re training their backsides off. Some days they’re winning, some days it works, some days it doesn’t.
“I remember when we hurt the great Australian side in 05, they waited for another season to have us at home and they gave us a good old battering.
“Deep down we’re hurting as proud sportsmen and as sportsmen who have achieved a hell of a lot over the last four or five years. First of all we live for now – now is Boxing Day and Sydney - then we can plan to try and avenge and bring the little urn back to London but it’s such a long way away.”