Kevin Pietersen’s carefree attitude during Perth Ashes Test led to ‘balcony bust-up’ between Alastair Cook, Graham Gooch
Alastair Cook (left) with batting coach Graham Gooch (centre) and Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images
London: Feb 9, 2014
Sacked England batsman Kevin Pietersen‘s carefree attitude during the recent Ashes series had reportedly infuriated the management so much that it led to a bust-up between captain Alastair Cook and batting coach Graham Gooch on the balcony.
According to the Mirror, the reckless shot selection by Pietersen led to the mentor-and-pupil relationship with Gooch, which is the bedrock of Cook’s impressive Test career, being put under strain during the Perth Test match.
With England 2-0 down in the series, Pietersen had already got out trying to clear the infield in the first innings and as England had a virtually impossible target of 504 set before them in the second innings, Pietersen reportedly decided against caution and went for all out attack, much to the anger of batting coach Gooch.
After tea, Pietersen took on the Australian spinner Nathan Lyon and hit him over long-on for six, which drew admiring applause from Cook on the balcony, although the report said that a witness revealed Gooch reacted angrily and pointed out to Cook that such a shot was no way to go about trying to save a Test match.
Four balls later, the report said that Pietersen proved Gooch right by attempting the same shot and this time holing out to a catch in the deep.
The reaction from Gooch shows that the often-repeated excuse trotted out by Pietersen that “This is the way I play” had already worn thin and his ability to play according to the situation was no longer as great as it once – and time was later called on his England career, the report added.