Alastair Cook (left), Paul Farbrace (centre)and Trevor Bayliss share a light moment at Trent bridge during the fourth Ashes Test © Getty Images
Alastair Cook (left), Paul Farbrace (centre)and Trevor Bayliss share a light moment at Trent bridge during the fourth Ashes Test © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen, who was axed from the England team following his controversial run with coaches at the end of Ashes 2013, feels that Alastair Cook and the players owe the Ashes 2015 win to the way Paul Farbrace and Trevor Bayliss. In his column for Daily Telegraph, Pietersen wrote, “Paul Farbrace deserves a lot of credit for that. He picked up the pieces after Peter Moores and has not put any pressure on the players. He decided to pick the youngsters and give them the freedom to express themselves. They told James Anderson to lead the attack, Stuart Broad to back him up and urged Alastair Cook to be positive in his captaincy. He has changed. Even when he talks in post-match interviews, he appears relaxed and not worried about what he says instead of being defensive.” READ: Adam Lyth must not be surprised if dropped after Ashes 2015

“It is down to the environment they have created. Moores might have done wonders with the development of some of the youngsters, and fair play to him because he is good at that. But the atmosphere Farbrace and subsequently Trevor Bayliss have created has enabled those same young players to take the next step in their development. That has been the key to their success because England have great young players in Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Root. Mark Wood looks like a great little character, too. They are guys who just need the backing to go out and enjoy their cricket like they would if playing for Durham or Yorkshire. That is very special and seeing them do well makes me so happy.” READ: Australia’s humiliating 1st innings is reminiscent of Brazil’s 1-7 loss to Germany

Pietersen praised Stokes and remembered the time when he was not selected for the ICC World Cup 2015. He wrote, “After Stokes’s hundred in Perth in that whitewash series, I said that a superstar had been born. He was then mistreated last year. I was spewing for him and I told him that over a beer in Melbourne last winter. I could not believe he was not in the World Cup squad. To have scored a hundred in Perth and then be chucked into the wilderness was horrendous management.” Joe Root: The heart of England’s resurgence in Ashes 2015

“But now he is in a wonderful place. He is swinging the ball at pace and hitting the ball hard. He makes mistakes, but when he does that it looks like he is patted on the back and told not to worry because that is the way he plays, rather than being punished. He will reward England more than he messes up and his numbers are showing that. At the same age, he has better numbers than Andrew Flintoff and has already taken only one fewer five-wicket hauls than Freddie managed in his whole career.” Ashes 2015, 4th Test at Trent Bridge: Statistical report

Pietersen also went on to remember Stokes’s amazing catch at Trent Bridge. “The catch he took at Trent Bridge and how dynamic he is in the dressing room are why he is a special cricketer. He is instinctive, the kind of guy who will flourish under Bayliss and Farbrace.” Ben Stokes proves his bowling credentials with top-class five-wicket haul

Pietersen wrote at length about Root and Jos Buttler. “Root is a special player. He was dropped in Sydney because he struggled with Australia’s pace and I was interested to see how he would cope this time. But he has come out flying. He is playing beautiful cricket, scoring off every bad ball, which is the sign of a top player. He is making good decisions and clearly enjoying himself. He is a proper, chilled-out, brilliant cricketer.” Stuart Broad shows a rare glimpse of history in Ashes 2015 4th Test at Trent Bridge

“Buttler has not had a great Ashes with the bat but you do not have to perform every series as long as you dovetail with your other skill. We know he is a little superstar and will score a lot of runs and win games for England because of the way he plays. He is a great bloke in the dressing room and that is helping England do some very special things.”

Pietersen wrote about the time when Cook may not have found the necessary support from the team management and was dropped from the One-Day International (ODI) squad ahead of ICC World Cup 2015.

“Cook says he was stubborn in the past. He had a horrendous 18 months and was not helped by the management around him during that time. I think he took the gauge of public opinion after the drubbing at the World Cup, where everybody played in a positive manner apart from England. We were all saying that was how England had to play and I think that gave Cook a wake-up call.”

“He was not at the World Cup and sometimes when you are watching from a distance you make better decisions because you are not in that high-pressure environment. It makes you become more aware of the situation. He probably sat there thinking: “You know what, this is how we have to change.’”

Pietersen welcomed Peter Moores’s sacking and hiring Bayliss as the head coach.

“Losing Moores at the start of the summer helped that along. It just shifted the atmosphere. No more rubbish about statistics and data. Now they are not talking about numbers but positive options and the way they are going to play their cricket. Bayliss talks about their strengths. That is how to go about your business. Once you start talking about par scores, your energy is going into the wrong place. You should just be thinking about hitting the ball.”

“The final Test of the series at the Oval next week should be a celebration of a rejuvenated, free-spirited and wonderful young England team who have won the Ashes against all expectations by playing cricket in the right way.”

“I am not too fussed if they do not win at the Oval, so let’s not put pressure on them by saying they have to go out and smash Australia again. Sure, Australia may crow if they win, but they lost the Ashes and performed badly when the series was alive so we know the truth about the difference between these two sides.”

“All that matters is England have won the Ashes. Job done. Go out there and enjoy the Oval, drink in the atmosphere and proudly hold up the urn at the end of the Test. It was brilliant to see so many smiling faces on the balcony after the Trent Bridge Test. I know some will say it is easy to smile when you are winning but even the way they celebrated told me a lot about this new England set-up. The camera crew were straight in the dressing room, the players were pouring drinks over Ian Ward’s head, and Joe Root was interviewed wearing a Bob Willis mask. There is a positive openness to the team compared to the past.”