Kevin Pietersen (left) and Graham Gooch (right)    Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen (left) and Graham Gooch (right) Getty Images

It was under Graham Gooch‘s tenure as the batting coach, when England were brought down to their knees in the 2013-14 Ashes as Australia whitewashed them by winning all the five Tests of the series. England’s disastrous performance in that series led to the exclusion of both Gooch and Kevin Pietersen from the side, despite the latter being the highest run-getter from England in the series. At the Cricketer’s Evening, Gooch opened up over his explosive row with Pietersen during that tour. As reported by Dailymail.co.uk, former England captain said, “On that tour the Australians worked him out completely. You don’t sledge Kevin. You actively engage him in chat, conversation, you be nice to him. Michael Clarke, in my opinion, played him to a T.”

Gooch further added, “What do you do with Kevin when he comes into bat? First of all you bowl full and straight. There’s a chance of knocking him over, he may play across a straight one. What do you do after that? You make overt field changes in front of his eyes. You almost stop the bowler just as he is about to bowl, and say, ‘I want two midwickets’, or whatever. Kevin would think, that’s a challenge, he took the bait all the time. Great players don’t get caught at midwicket, deep square leg, caught mid-on.”

Gooch continued and kept on adding interesting insights about the incident and added, “Alastair Cook was sitting next to me, and Andy Flower (head coach). Pietersen was caught at long-off (off Nathan Lyon). To be fair, he’s a modern-thinking player, he’s thinking, ‘I’ll hit it over his head’. But we were trying to save the game. Fighting for our lives, we were getting annihilated. It was exactly the circumstances I said, man back at long-on, challenge him, hole out and get caught.”

Further, Gooch tried to make Pietersen realise about his responsibilities by pointing out to then skipper Cook and expressed, “‘He’d been caught at mid-on from a baseball shot first innings. I let him have it on the balcony about responsibilities. I [then] pointed to Alastair and said, ‘you should effing well be telling him this, not me!’ That was it. That was the end of me.'”

Further, the row between Gooch and Pietersen took place and it became quite heated one. “The row resumed the next day. ‘Pietersen came to me in the nets, and said, ‘Don’t you ever talk to me like that again’. And I said, ‘I will talk to you how I want, you need to be told’. He then played the most responsible innings at Melbourne (fourth Test, he scored 71) he’d played all tour,'” said Gooch.

Before all this, Pietersen was quite furious over Gooch when he was asked to bat at 3 instead of 4. Gooch reveals the entire incident by adding, “When Jonathan Trott went home, I suggested Kevin bat No 3. We got beaten in the first Test. We needed someone to stand up to the Australians. ‘I bat 4,’ he said. ‘We need you to bat 3,’ I replied. ‘No, I bat 4.’ ‘No, you bat for the team, we need to make a statement ‘ Joe Root was instead promoted to No.3 for the second Test and by the series finale had been dropped. ‘Kevin had his own way of thinking about things,’ said Gooch. ‘I just think a great player plays for the situation, not to the occasion. “