Kevin Pietersen, former England cricket team captain and flamboyant batting star, looks back at his best memories at the iconic Oval cricket ground in London, recollecting his heartfelt relationship with the stadium. In an interview conducted by cricket betting site Betway, Kevin Pietersen interestingly speaks about some of his great and memorable flashes and his experiences of performing at this venue.
Kevin Pietersen, the right-hander, one of the most famous English batsmen, had forever fancied playing at the ground. In the Ashes against Australia in 2005, he made his Test debut for England. This match is part of one of the pre-eminent Test series ever played in history till date. Also, we’ve to acknowledge that Pietersen played an immortal inning at Oval which helped England snatch Ashes from Australia. This is where the legacy of the enigma identified as the KP was established and continued until his retirement in 2014.
“In the Ashes in 2005, I came down and I was in a panic,” he said. “I had absolutely no time at all to even think about batting. McGrath was bowling and I was lucky enough to get that 158. Michael Vaughan lifted the urn for England and it was the first time in 18 years.”
“When I came back up the stairs after that 158 it was absolute chaos. Just being swamped as a player, by the fans, you want to experience that.”
The ideal Test series observed Pietersen producing a record as a batsman and a fetish of World Cricket. Following making a couple of significant half-centuries in England’s unbelievable adventure of taking a 2-1 point in the initial 4 Tests series, Pietersen secured his first Test century in the 5th Test at the Oval, thereby guaranteeing the game drops in a draw and supporting England recover the Ashes. He finished as the best run-getter in his debut series.
“Dreams have been created on this very ground. It was around here that I was celebrating my first ever Ashes Test match hundred. We then went to No.1 in the world having beaten India 4-0. That’s what it was: 4-0. We got the mace and we did the celebrations around the ground.
Pietersen was known to swing his hand sporadically, and in 104 matches he played, he has taken 10 wickets, including former Indian captain MS Dhoni at the Oval in the third Test of the 2007 series. That game is recognized by Anil Kumble scoring his first and only Test century. Furthermore, India won the series 1–0 after the third Test ended in a high-scoring draw.
4 years ago, when India toured England again, it was a different result as the hosts whitewashed the complete series, winning 4–0. Kevin Pietersen was the star, scoring 533 runs in 4 Tests, including a double century in the final Test at The Oval. As England wiped out the visitors, they climbed to the top of the test rankings.
Pietersen, now a broadcaster, comes back to the venue in 2021 as part of the ongoing five-match Test series played between England and India. The series has not been low on entertainment either. The 1st Test match began with a hit as Indian bowlers presented their class. India nearly started with a triumph at Nottinghamshire till the rain came in. The last day was called off due to bad weather, and the test series began with a draw.
The second Test conceivably took a great turn as India batted first at Lord’s as they lost the toss. England had the lead and dominated until the final day. However, India set up an admirable fight and created one of the most magnificent last-day performances.