Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: Kevin Pietersen must take attack to Australia on day three
Australian bowlers are having things their own way too easily, says Nass
Last Updated: 08/12/13 9:41pm
Pietersen scored a double hundred in England's victory at Adelaide in 2010/11 and the tourists are in desperate need of a similar innings after closing day two on 35-1, 535 runs behind Australia's 570-9 declared.
Michael Clarke (148) and Brad Haddin (118) - both dropped on the opening day - shared a 200-run sixth-wicket stand after Australia resumed on 273-5.
And former England skipper Hussain says that with skipper Alastair Cook already out for three and inexperienced duo Michael Carberry (20no) and Joe Root (9no) at the crease, the onus is on Pietersen in particular to lead the fight-back.
"The run-rate is a bit of a concern and tomorrow they are going to need someone like Pietersen to try and seize back some initiative or momentum when he comes in," he said.
"Everything is going Australia's way at the moment and someone needs to stand up and say 'we won this 3-0 last time, we need to get into this series and get into this series quickly'.
"For 20 overs tonight England had to bunker down and get through to the close of play. But tomorrow it's vital that someone like Pietersen - just as Clarke (who could have been out first ball today) did this morning - puts some of these bowlers on the back foot.
"They are having everything their own way. They can just run up and put the ball on a six-pence and no-one is putting them off their lengths.
"England have pressed 'g' for gamble because they've gone for the extra bowler by playing the all-rounder and if they'd taken those catches yesterday and bowled Australia out for 350-400 they would be right in the box seat and that gamble would have paid off.
"But now they are sitting there asking themselves 'we took the gamble and they've still got 550 - we'd quite like to have the extra batsman now'. So all eyes will be on how poor old Ben Stokes goes on debut.
"It's still a good pitch but he's going to have Mitchell Johnson steaming in at him and he'll have to face a bit of spin - hence Pietersen, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (who has had a very quiet year) need to stand out and get a big score."
Clarke, who resumed on 48no, survived an early scare when he squirted Monty Panesar wide of cover and he duly went on to post his sixth hundred at the Adelaide Oval, before wicketkeeper Haddin - who had three narrow escapes himself - followed suit and registered his fourth Test ton.
Hussain said Australian skipper Clarke took full advantage of his opportunity to suppress England spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.
"You can't give Haddin and Clarke - both of whom average 100 on this ground - chances because they will really hurt you," he said.
"A year ago Panesar and Swann were all over the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in India and Clarke has just given them an absolute masterclass in how to play spin.
"At times, and it hurts to say this, Panesar and Swann were just left scratching their heads as to how to bowl to him because he was so good."
Ashes-holders England, already 1-0 down in the series, were left to bat out 21 overs after Australia's declaration but didn't make it through to stumps unscathed as left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson castled Cook.
In a frantic finish to the day Michael Carberry was almost run out off the penultimate ball of the day, then survived a close lbw shout that replays suggested was out.
"It was brilliant from Mitchell Johnson - he came out and bowled at 95mph and he did shape the ball away, which he doesn't often do.
"Cook was shaping to hit the delivery that got him out to the leg-side but the late movement does him. He missed it by a long way - it was too good for the England captain.
"I don't think Cook had a scrambled brain after spending 160 overs in the field as captain; I think if he had got that ball early yesterday he would have missed it.
"Root played pretty well this evening. The ball will tend to fly a lot higher at the Gabba but here it will skid through at about chest high.
"Root did have a chest pad on but he got one from Johnson that missed and hit him right in the ribs. That will hurt. But I thought that Root and Carberry, up until the last two balls, played pretty well. They had to dig deep."
Watch highlights of day two from 10am on Sky Sports 2 and On Demand from 6.30pm, then tune in for the Ashes Verdict from 9pm and The Ashes Extra from 11pm ahead of live coverage of day three from 11.30pm.