Cardiff (Wales), July 12 (ANI): Kevin Pietersen has told his shell-shocked England team-mates they must stand up and be counted today to prove they can handle an intense summer of Aussie pressure.
"We've put ourselves under a hell of a lot of pressure and it's up to us to stand up and be counted now," News of The World quoted Pietersen, as saying.
"We have to try and avoid being rolled over ourselves and being beaten by an innings. We need to make a big statement that we are going to fight and fight and fight for the rest of the summer.
Otherwise it will be a long one. This isn't the most important Test match of the summer but we have to try and fight in order to make that statement," he added.
England need to bat for 90 overs in Cardiff to salvage the opening Npower Test after an insipid display in the field over the past two days allowed Australia's batsmen to run riot.
Pietersen, not out overnight alongside captain Andrew Strauss, stands between Ricky Ponting's team and a humiliating sixth Ashes defeat on the spin for England.
With Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook already back in the hutch, the home side still need 220 more runs just to make the tourists bat again.
KP knows the Aussies will not let up if they spot any sign of weakness. He knows if the Three Lions do not toughen up soon they can expect more of the same over the next 10 weeks.
"It's going to be very, very hard because they have some fantastic bowlers and if the wicket is turning then life won't be easy. But I believe we have it in us. I'm not going to say we will do it or we won't but one thing is for sure: The pressure is going to be here for the rest of the summer," he said. (ANI)