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Former England batsman James Taylor hits out at ‘arrogant’ Kevin Pietersen

Former England batsman James Taylor had to retire at just 26 owing to an incurable heart disease but he vividly recalled his debut Test match where he alleges Kevin Pietersen misbehaved with him.

cricket Updated: May 21, 2018 16:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
James Taylor,Kevin Pietersen,autobiography
James Taylor (L) has said that Kevin Pietersen’s behaviour in the England cricket team set-up was far from ideal. (Getty Images)

Former England batsman James Taylor has made scathing revelations in his autobiography ‘Cut Short’ regarding Kevin Pietersen stating that he has no respect for the latter owing to his arrogance.

This isn’t the first that the middle-order batsman has been in the middle of a controversy and has often been labelled as one of the most controversial figures of English cricket when it comes to team discipline.

While Taylor had to hang up his boots at just 26 owing to an incurable heart disease, he vividly recalled his debut Test match where he alleges KP misbehaved with him.

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“I try not to have preconceived ideas about people and so always intended on giving KP a chance. But the early encounters hadn’t been good,” a report on quoted from the book. KP’s first words on seeing the pint-sized prodigy were, “what are you doing here?”

Coincidentally, Taylor had made his debut alongside Pietersen and the two had put on a 147-run partnership together against South Africa at Leeds.

“Whether he was trying to intimidate me and be the big man, or it was him feeling threatened by me, I don’t know. But this was before I’d even met him properly or shared a dressing room.

“He didn’t know me from a bar of soap but that was how he chose to be. They say never meet your heroes, and if ever there was a classic case, KP was it.”

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Taylor was dismissed after scoring a cautious 34 off 104 deliveries; his knock laced with four boundaries. Pietersen, on the other hand, had scored a brilliant 149 off just 214 balls and had helped England take a six-run lead at the end of the first innings of play.

“I batted fairly cautiously as we built a partnership, reflecting the position of the game, but KP was having none of that. He provided an amazing display of hitting at the other end, awesome stroke play of a kind that only he was capable,” Taylor wrote.

“Contrary to the sheer wizardry of KP’s flashing bat, his conversation wasn’t quite so tantalising. As the partnership progressed, he didn’t talk down to me but was super arrogant. Facing Tahir, KP sauntered down the wicket. ‘I’m just debating how far to hit this next one,’ he said.”

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The match had ended in a draw and KP, in a stunning press conference, stated how difficult it was becoming for him to play in the English side owing to differences in the dressing room.

Although Taylor stated that he understood the difficult position KP was in, it was largely his own fault. “I’m not blind to how KP must have felt. I can see that it would be a horrible position for him to be in, to feel alone in the dressing room, but it was a position he’d brought on himself,” Taylor wrote.

“His presence had long been divisive and had caused serious disjointedness to the side.”

First Published: May 21, 2018 15:06 IST