James Taylor lashes out at ‘arrogant’ Kevin Pietersen in his autobiography

"Whether he [Pietersen] was trying to intimidate me and be the big man, or it was him feeling threatened by me, I don’t know" says Taylor.

James Taylor and Kevin Pietersen | Getty

Former England cricketer James Taylor has lambasted batting great Kevin Pietersen in his recently released autobiography titled ‘Cut Short’. Taylor has exclusively mentioned that he holds no respect for Pietersen because of his arrogance.

Taylor, who had to take premature retirement from competitive cricket owing to incurable heart disease, vividly recounted his debut Test match against South Africa at Leeds in 2012 wherein KP’s treatment towards him was unjustifiable.

“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 cricket.com.au quoted from the book.

Pietersen’s first words on seeing the pint-sized batsman were, “what are you doing here?”

Taylor along with Pietersen forged a 147-run partnership during that Test in Leeds, but the former Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire batsman was shocked to see KP’s ill-behaviour.

“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,” Taylor wrote.

Taylor had scored 34 off 104 deliveries in his debut Test innings whereas Pietersen had dismantled the Proteas attack with his audacious 149 off just 214 balls in the same innings.

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 penned it down.

“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.” he further wrote.

The Leeds Test had ended in a draw and subsequently Kevin Pietersen in the post-match press conference had stated how difficult it was for him to be a part of the England dressing room given the differences with players.

Reflecting on KP’s struggle during that period, Taylor wrote that 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. His presence had long been divisive and had caused serious disjointedness to the side,” Taylor concluded.

(With inputs from cricket.com.au)

By Salman Anjum - 21 May, 2018

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