KP's perfect timing
Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News that Kevin Pietersen will rediscover his form for the Ashes.
Last Updated: 19/10/10 4:52pm
Nasser Hussain has backed Kevin Pietersen to rediscover his form in the Ashes.
Pietersen, who has not hit a Test ton since March 2009, has lost his spot in England's one-day and Twenty20 sides and was out for a duck on Friday for South African side Kwa-Zulu Natal Dolphins, with whom he is trying to find form.
But former England captain Hussain thinks the 30-year-old will be suited to both the pitches in Australia - and the occasion - and will step up as a result.
"You have to be worried because England and all England supporters would want one of their best players to be firing going into an Ashes series," said Hussain.
"But if you look at Pietersen historically, when it's a big game, a big match, a big series, Pietersen fires - whether it be the World Twenty20, where he was player of the series, or Australia last time.
"He was the one batsman who stood up in Australia last time against great bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. His ego and his personality love the big stage - that is what he believes he is playing the game for, so you'd expect him to come good."
Hussain believes that the form of off-spinner Graeme Swann, recently beaten to the ICC Cricketer of the Year award by Sachin Tendulkar, is equally important to England's chances of retaining the urn.
Swann was belatedly added to the ICC's list after taking 49 Test wickets at 27.55 in the qualification period, swelling his overall tally to 113 scalps from 24 Tests.
"You would say that Australia have the greatest batsman in Ricky Ponting; wherever he is right now in his game, you can't argue about his record," said Hussain.
"But England have the best bowler in Graeme Swann - you can't argue with his record in the last 18 months. He is absolutely vital.
"When the Kookaburra ball stops moving and it is flat and 40 degrees in Adelaide and the seamers are exhausted, you look towards your spinner to bowl sides out.
"Previously we've had spinners to just contain. But this lad, who is very special, bowls people out including left-handers - and they have a lot of left-handers.
"Monty Panesar won't play in Brisbane, unless Swann gets injured; Shane Warne said when he was with us that Perth is now turning but Adelaide and Sydney would be an option for Monty.
"What he has to do - and I hear he was bowling pretty well for Sussex and is a very, very fine left-arm spin bowler - is be a bit more proactive himself.
"This England side is about people thinking for themselves, thinking on their own feet, not looking like a schoolboy to the captain or to other people and asking questions.
"Panesar has been around for a short while now and he needs to start thinking for himself and imposing himself on the opposition."
Don't forget the Ashes get underway next month and every ball will be live on Sky Sports HD!