KP: We've been hurt big time

England

England batsman Kevin Pietersen is eager to undo the damage gathered across heavy defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, when the fourth Ashes Test starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen is eager to undo the damage gathered across heavy defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, when the fourth Ashes Test starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Largely dominant against the Australians in the United Kingdom earlier this year, the English have since collapsed to a three-nil defeat. Pietersen's poor stretch of form, which has brought a mere 165 runs at an average of well below 30, has typified the tourists' woes.

"We've been hurt. We've been hurt big time here. We're hurting. Deep down, we are hurting as international sportsmen, as proud sportsmen and sportsmen who have achieved a hell of a lot over the last four or five years," said Pietersen.

"I think first of all, we live for now. Now is Boxing Day, and Sydney. Then we can plan and hope to try to avenge and bring the little urn back to London. But that's such a long way away.

"We've just under-performed. We've set ourselves very high targets and good goals, and we just haven't achieved them. We've come unstuck. The Australians have played much better cricket."

The visitors will be without spinner Graeme Swann, who retired from international and first-class cricket with immediate effect last week. The uncapped Scott Borthwick and the inexperienced James Tredwell have subsequently been added to the squad, while left-armer Monty Panesar is likely to be drafted into the XI.

"You can't change what's happened – but you can change what's going to happen. We owe it ourselves and we owe it to a lot of people who've paid a lot of money to come over here and support us, especially in Melbourne and Sydney," added Pietersen.

"We've let a lot of people down, and we now need to turn ourselves on and that starts now. When you win, it's great; when you lose, it's not. I do think this team acknowledges we need to play a lot better this week, because we owe it to ourselves and to a lot of people who've paid a lot of money to come and watch us."

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