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Pietersen to go after Warne in Perth

12/12/2006 08:04:06 PM Comments (0)

England's Kevin Pietersen has made no apologies for that costly sweep shot against Shane Warne and plans to up the attack on the Australian legspinner in the third Ashes Test.

Pietersen's battle against his friend and county team-mate could determine whether England can keep the series alive from Thursday at the WACA Ground, but the tourists' batting star has stressed it's his job to score runs, not defend.

For that, he has no regrets with his ill-timed sweep against Warne on the last day of the second Test, which bowled him around his legs and gave the Australians the belief they were en route to victory.

Pietersen denied the stroke was pre-determined, but said he had plans to take the attack to Warne after making 92 in the second innings in the first Test in Brisbane and 158 in the first innings in Adelaide.

"I've got my four areas where I bat and play balls in different areas," he said.

"I look to score first before I defend.

"I thought it was there in my area and I just missed it, so I'm not really too fussed. We're allowed to miss balls occasionally."

Pietersen rates Warne as the greatest bowler to have played the game, but said he and the other England batsmen had to take the leg spinner's aura out of the equation if the tourists were to avoid a repeat of Adelaide, where Warne had his opponents at his mercy.

"It is the bowler running in to bowl to me and I have got to score runs," he said.

"It is my living scoring runs, it is his taking wickets.

"I don't really play Shane Warne as Shane Warne, I play a cricket ball - it is the cricket ball that gets you out.

"The most important thing is to keep things as simple as you can when Glenn McGrath's running at you, Shoaib Akhtar's running at you, (Brett) Lee, (Muttiah) Muralitharan, you have got to concentrate on just the ball."

Warne requires six wickets to reach 700 career victims, but has struggled at the WACA Ground in the past.

He has only three times taken six wickets in a match there, from 11 Tests, and averages 37.28 runs a scalp in the west.

But Pietersen could not afford to get comfortable against those figures having had his off stump improbably knocked back in Adelaide.

"It only takes one ball from a great man to knock you over," he said.

"You can't really win the battle as a batsman and he proved that."

As England's most positive batsman, Pietersen said he took defeat hard in Adelaide, and could still not fathom how the tourists had lost later that night.

The 2-0 deficit meant England cannot afford anything but bold attack this week.

"The boys have been put through their paces (at training) massively and from the first ball that was bowled it was 90mph plus," he said.

"So we'll be coming out all guns blazing, knowing we have to play positive cricket and we have to win the Test match."

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