23 Dec 2010

Pietersen says pressure's on Australia

6:12 pm on 23 December 2010

The outspoken England batsman Kevin Pietersen put his side's third test defeat in Perth behind him, saying Australia remains vulnerable and under extreme pressure.

Pietersen says the Australian players' chirpy attitude shows they're feeling the pinch ahead of the fourth test, which starts in Melbourne on Sunday..

He says players under extreme pressure talk a lot more while the English players know how well they played in Brisbane and Adelaide and regard Perth as just a hiccup.

Pietersen says the England camp expect Australia captain Ricky Ponting to play despite a fractured finger.

England haven't won an Ashes series in Australia for 25 years and a third series defeat as captain could end Ponting's reign as Test skipper, increasing the pressure on the Tasmanian to front up on Boxing Day.