Kevin Pietersen insists he was not surprised by Tim Paine and Australia’s sledging during the third Test against India and says more will follow in the series decider in Brisbane.
He told Betway: ‘There’s always going to be confrontation in a big series like Australia v India.
‘There have been confrontations in the past, there will be confrontations in the final Test match of the series, and there will be confrontations when the teams meet again in the future.
‘It’s never ever going to change, particularly when Australia are involved. Australians play in a certain way.
‘They play really tough on the field and a big part of that is to sledge. It’s what they do.
‘Having played against Australia on numerous occasions, you have to accept that you’re going to get sledged – particularly Down Under, where the temperatures are warm and you’re in a fiercely competitive nation.
‘They’re desperate to win, and they’ll do everything they can within the laws of the game to win – although sometimes they are pushing what is and isn’t in the laws of the game.
‘My own view is that players can take sledging as far as they like without getting personal.
‘But while there is clearly a debate as to whether Tim Paine and Australia went too far on the fifth day at Sydney, this was always going to happen.
‘The idea that this Australia team is different to previous ones, that they won’t do everything they can on the field to gain an advantage, is silly.
‘I’m lucky enough to have played over 100 Test matches and I can tell you that the format tests every facet of not just your game, but you as a person.
‘It tests your mental strength, it tests your relationships with team-mates and opponents, it tests your will to improve, and it tests your behaviour when you win and when you lose.
‘If Tim Paine gets himself into another confrontation in the fourth Test, he will go again – regardless of what he says in between Test matches. It is in his and his team’s DNA, so you have to deal with it.’
More to follow…
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