|Player:||KP Pietersen, RT Ponting|
|Event:||England in Australia 2006/07|
DateLine: 1st December 2006
Australia have picked up a few new ways to combat England's aggressive middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen, captain Ricky Ponting said on Thursday. Australia goes into Friday's second Ashes Test leading the series after a resounding 277-run win in the Gabba Test and can take a vice-like grip on the Ashes contest with victory at Adelaide Oval. Pietersen, who buoyed England with his counter-attacking second innings of 92 in the first Test, had an absorbing duel with his Hampshire county teammate Shane Warne. An irritated Warne at one stage chucked the ball at Pietersen's head at the end of one of his overs, forcing the England No.5 to knock it away with his bat and snap at Warne. Pietersen stands as one of England's big attacking weapons on an Adelaide pitch where a lot of runs are usually scored. "We should have learnt a fair bit about him in Brisbane and the way he plays, and anyone who spends time in the middle, we should have picked up a few things on the way they play," Ponting said Thursday. "(Paul) Collingwood yes, Pietersen yes, their openers we learned a bit about them. We should be better off having a look at them in Australian conditions for this second game." Ponting said feisty Pietersen was a character in the mould of Australian cricketers Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden.
"He does thrive on (on-field confrontation), he's the sort of player who like that, likes being in one-on-one battles, a bit like Matthew Hayden does, and Steve Waugh used to be exactly the same," Ponting said. "They almost go looking for something like that to get them going a little bit more. I know Warney and Kevin would have enjoyed that little confrontation they had the other day. There's no doubt we are going to see a lot more of that as this series goes on. I know as a batter you can't afford to get too aggressive because the bowler always gets the ball back," he said with a grin. "It doesn't matter how far you hit it, it always come back to him."