Ashes 2013-14: England's Kevin Pietersen will not stop attacking

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Pietersen reacts to Boycott 'mug' jibe

Fourth Test: Australia v England

Melbourne Cricket Ground
26-30 December
Start time:
23:30 GMT (25-29 Dec)
Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, BBC Sport website & BBC Sport app; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website, app & mobile devices

Kevin Pietersen insists he will not change his risk-taking batting style, despite a run of failures resulting in Geoffrey Boycott branding him a "mug".

England's leading batsman by Test average and reputation, 33-year-old Pietersen has struggled badly on this disastrous tour so far, scoring only 165 runs in his six innings.

On five occasions he has been caught on the leg side playing attacking shots, but with the Ashes already lost he says he will play the same way in Melbourne's Boxing Day Test.

Pietersen said: "I don't think I've helped myself. But that's the way I play. I don't know how many articles have been written about the fact that I've got myself out, but I'm there to dominate, I'm there to take risks.

"If I see a ball to hit for six or a ball to hit for four, there's something in my body that tells me to hit it. I'm not the kind of guy who can think about knocking the ball down the ground."

As England were beaten by 150 runs in the third Test in Perth to go 3-0 down in the five Test series, Pietersen was caught on the long-on boundary trying to clear Ryan Harris, who had just been placed there for precisely that shot.

With England fighting to save the Test and Ashes it led many to bemoan the attitude of their star batsman, who had earlier passed 8,000 Test runs in his 102nd Test.

Pietersen told BBC Sport: "The other day was a mistake. Clearly I've made a few mistakes - and that's been highlighted - but I won't change the way I play for anybody because I think I've been pretty successful.

"It's not a case of can't, it's just there's something in me that says if there's a ball to hit then you've got to hit it. And it works.

"On the good days, at Adelaide on the last trip down here, I scored 227. On nought, the first ball I hit from Doherty landed just over point's hands, yet everyone says it's one of the greatest innings I've ever played. You take the rough with the smooth. That is what happens.

Pietersen insisted he did not view the shot he got out to in Perth as a risk.

"I should have hit it for six," he said. "As long as I play, I'm going to try to hit sixes."

Pietersen also brushed off the controversy over Graeme Swann's comments following the spinner's retirement, which some misinterpreted as a criticism of the South African-born batsman.

He also insisted that, at just a year younger than the departed Swann, he had no plans of his own to end his international career.

Swann has denied that he was referring to any of his team-mates when he claimed that some cricketers had their heads up their own backsides.

Pietersen said: "I have heard bits and pieces, but my family arrived on Monday and I haven't seen my little boy for two months, so my interest levels in what the media were talking about were less than zero.

"It's fairly weird. In every press conference I do, people ask how long I'm going to play for. I'm fully committed to do my best to help us win in Melbourne and help us win in Sydney.

"The dressing room isn't happy about the results at all. We set higher standards than we have produced on this trip so far.

"With the Ashes now gone, we can hopefully sort ourselves out, reinvent ourselves, do something positive and finish the tour off positively.

"I know a lot of fans come over for the Melbourne and Sydney Test matches. We owe it to everyone and those guys who spend a lot of money coming to watch us to produce something."

Listen to Kevin Pietersen's BBC Radio 5 live interview.

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