10 Dec 2014

Pietersen still wants to play Test cricket

11:43 am on 10 December 2014

The former England international Kevin Pietersen's exile from Test cricket eats at him and he has not ruled out a surprise return to the world stage.

Former England international cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

Former England international cricketer Kevin Pietersen. Photo: Photosport

The star batsman has been in exile since February, following the disastrous 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Opinions have differed wildly on whether English officials did the right thing by dropping him, apparently for good.

But Pietersen says he anticipates changes in English cricket soon.

"The next six months, with the changes happening in England, it could be interesting," he says.

It also sits badly with Pietersen that the last time he played Test cricket, Australia took England apart.

Speaking at the MCG, he referred to the Boxing Day Test there a year ago, when England fell apart in their second innings.

"We lost the game in an hour," he says. "That really frustrated a lot of players."

"To have had that taken away and not have the opportunity to try and resurrect that - it's something that eats at me."

Pietersen has only played Twenty20 cricket since his axing and has come to Australia for a contract with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League.

Three days after deriding England coach Peter Moores as a "woodpecker", Pietersen predicts that they could be in trouble at next year's World Cup.

New Zealand is his tip to win the Cup.

"The England side might still struggle here in a couple of months' time," Pietersen says.

While feelings remain raw with England, Pietersen is determined to have a good time while playing in Australia.

He praised Australian cricket and local media for how they handled the Phillip Hughes tragedy.

"(It was) horrendous... but just in terms of how Cricket Australia, Michael Clarke, how all you guys in the media have handled yourselves over the last couple of weeks, it's just been incredible."

"I know we have our battles - and I've battled with Australia for as long as I can remember - it's with great respect that I stand here now."

"Phillip would have been incredibly proud."

Pietersen has pledged he will be more friendly during this trip to Australia.

"I won't have headphones on, walking through airports," he says. "The way the Australians have been over the last couple of weeks - Australian people are good people."

"(They are) fierce competitors, that's why we play the game."

"But... I'm at a stage in my career where rivalry is something - it used to be a lot more to me than it is now."

"So I'm here to enjoy myself."

Still, Pietersen will not be worried if Australian fans still boo him.

"I prefer to be hammered here than for an Australian to think you're a good bloke... that's how I look at it."

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