Defeat will help us - Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen believes England can only benefit from the experience of playing against one of the best sides the game has seen.
One of the few batsmen to enhance his reputation in Australia - he made 490 runs at an average of 54 - Pietersen claimed England’s predominantly young squad will grow as a result of their 5-0 series defeat.
“They’ve been absolutely awesome,” he said of Australia. “This England team has played really, really good cricket but this Australian team was obviously backed into a corner in the Ashes 2005 and have come back doubly strong.
“I’ve heard a lot of people who’ve watched a lot more cricket and been around a lot longer than I have saying this is the greatest Australian team they’ve ever seen.
“To be playing against them and challenging ourselves against them is not going to do us any harm.”
Pietersen, though pleased with his personal contribution, admitted it meant little in the grander scheme of things.
“It’s been fun, but I’d rather have scored 150 runs and for us to win the Ashes,” he added.
He urged his England colleagues to follow the example of the Australians by making more weighty contributions with the bat, while urging more discipline with the ball.
“You have to score hundreds in Test match cricket,” Pietersen said.
“We only got three hundreds this trip. Hundreds get you involved and get you competitive.
"Ricky Ponting goes on and gets 190. He's greedy and we've got to be like that.
“The key is for the bowlers to know there’s a corridor we need to bowl in.
“Australia bowled to me in a corridor about a foot outside off stump - they bowled to their field and didn’t get bored for three-quarters of an hour.”
Pietersen denied that Australia had been overly aggressive in their approach - the hosts were never shy in the sledging department - and claimed he and his team-mates will learn from such a rigorous pyschological test.
“For guys coming into their first series against Australia, to see how the likes of Shane Warne, (Matthew) Hayden, Ponting go at you on the field and how mentally they try and get hold of your brain and try and wreck it over the course of six or seven weeks, will definitely stand the boys in good stead.”