Pietersen hits back at critics by saying he is ‘good as gold’ for England duties

Sydney, Dec 24: Kevin Pietersen has reaffirmed his commitment to playing for England, saying he was currently ‘as good as gold’, as Graeme Swann reiterated his parting sledge upon his retirement was not directed at his former team-mates, according to reports.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, displaying all the confidence which has made him one of the star batsmen of the modern era, Pietersen said he was batting as well as I’ve ever batted, despite his lean series, and called himself a ‘clown’ for his first-innings dismissal to Peter Siddle in Adelaide.

However, he refused to be drawn into the controversy started by Swann on Sunday when the off-spinner surprised the cricket world by immediately retiring from all forms of cricket, days before the start of the Boxing Day Test match, the report said.

On Tuesday, Pietersen was defiant, frank and forthright during a rare 10-minute press appearance, but most fiery when the Swann subject was broached, saying his interest levels in yesterday’s commentary about Swann’s comments were ‘less than zero’, the report added.

Pietersen’s commitment to England has been questioned throughout this series after a string of cavalier dismissals, which led to former great Geoff Boycott labelling him a ‘mug’, the report further said.

Pietersen, however, said he would stick with the flair and aggression which has netted him 8052 Test runs and has him sitting fifth on England’s all-time runs-scorer’s list, the report mentioned. (ANI)