England's prolific batsman Kevin Pietersen has warned his team-mates to beware the wounded Australia ahead of their five-Test Ashes series, starting July 10.
Australia are far from getting an ideal preparation ahead of the Ashes with first their hard-hitting batsman David Warner having been banned for attacking England's Joe Root followed by the sacking of their head coach Mickey Arthur.
Pietersen said the off-field controversies that Australia have had recently will have no effect when the two teams meet two weeks from now. "Don't write the Aussies off, they are a proud nation and will fight hard in every session," Pietersen told Citizen in an interview.
Pietersen, meanwhile, announced his arrival after a long injury lay-off in an emphatic fashion, cracking an unbeaten hundred against Yorkshire at Headingley recently. The 32-year-old admitted that he was frustrated for not being in the side first against New Zealand and then at the ICC Champions Trophy and wanted to make a good comeback.
"I am very disciplined when it comes to fitness and rehab," he said. "It's frustrating not being able to play so that drives me if I'm injured. I always want to improve so that keeps me going,"
Pietersen said his relationship with new captain Alastair Cook and other players has been excellent. "It's a small group and I play all three forms [of the game] so I see all the lads regularly. The young players coming through are a talented bunch. I get on well with Cooky [Cook], Steve Finn, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root."