Warne advises England on Pietersen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warne advises England on Pietersen

By John Coomber 26/12/2006 09:30:23 PM Comments (0)

Not content with becoming the first man to take 700 Test wickets, Shane Warne took time out from his busy day to dispense some advice to England: Kevin Pietersen must bat higher in the order than No.5.

"He should be batting three or four, I reckon, for sure," Warne said.

"He's a world class player and we've seen that through the whole series. It's harder to come on (to bowl) to a bloke when they're 30 or 40.

"It's easy to bowl to them when they first come in, because they're like anyone. The first few overs is quite hard and anyone can get you out. You get a good ball, you nick it, you're off.

"But if I was England I'd definitely put him up the order."

Warne has a point. In four of England's seven completed innings in the series its premier batsman has suffered for lack of company at the other end.

In the first Test in Brisbane Pietersen was left with the tail-enders when he was in the 90s and on the rampage.

In Perth he was ninth man out for 70 in the first innings in similar circumstances, and was left high and dry on 60 not out in the second innings.

Again on Tuesday he was denied the opportunity of building an innings as England lost 8-58.

Pietersen was caught on the long-off boundary slogging at Warne with only Monty Panesar and Matthew Hoggard remaining.

Warne has not been shy of giving advice to his opponents in this series.

Before a ball was bowled he twice said publicly that it was a mistake to play defensive left-arm spinner Ashley Giles instead of Panesar and wicketkeeper Geraint Jones instead of Chris Read.

Gradually England's selectors have come to agree with him. Giles was dropped for Panesar in the third Test in Perth and Read replaced a hopelessly out-of-form Jones for this Test.

Warne said he could understand that England wanted to keep his Hampshire teammate back so he can counteract Warne's own bowling.

"He probably plays me the best out of their side, so No.5 is more chance of playing me when I first come on," he said.

"But I think you want your best players up the order when the new ball is there, when it is the hardest. They get through that and then they come to the spinners.

"It's not for me to say but I suppose they're trying to get their best players down the order, and if the top few can hang in there then their strokemakers can come in."

Meanwhile, while Ian Bell was a popular tip to be Warne's 700th scalp, eventual victim Andrew Strauss also had plenty of "form".

It was the eighth time since last year's Ashes series in England that Warne had dismissed the opener and this was the third where the leg spinner had bowled him.

The left-hander tried to drive a fullish delivery and was out for a top score of 50 as England was dismissed for 159.

"There are probably 699 other guys who felt pretty bad after getting out to Shane Warne and I'm no different today," he said.

"It's obviously a great achievement for him and something that will live long in many people's memories, but probably not mine.

"It was a very full ball, I'm not quite sure how I missed it, really.

"I probably didn't hit it as straight as I could have done."

England won the toss and Strauss said the team still felt it was the right decision, despite Australia holding the upper hand at stumps on 2-48.

"But it was one of those (tosses) where if you lost it, you wouldn't feel too bad," he said.

"It (the pitch) probably did a little bit more than we expected it to, we didn't feel it was going to change too dramatically over the first day-and-a-half.

"We got to 100-odd for two and if you do go on and get 250-odd, you've done pretty well on a wicket like that.

"Unfortunately, we lost wickets at crucial times at the back end there, we were somewhere short of where we wanted to be.

"It's the sort of wicket where you could easily go bang-bang-bang on and get two or three early tomorrow - if we do that, we're right back in the game."

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