Bob Willis marvels at Kevin Pietersen's return to form as England dominated day three in Adelaide.
Last Updated: 05/12/10 10:55am
It's been another great day for England - and Kevin Pietersen in particular.
I don't think there was ever any doubt he would get back to form, it just took a little longer than we might have expected.
He has been saying for some time that his break back in South Africa, where he spent time with his old coach and friend Graham Ford made a big difference to him and even in the warm-up matches in Australia, you could see he was right.
I do think the disappointment of the captaincy and the whole Peter Moores thing affected him more than we might have realised and it certainly took him a long time to come to terms with.
On a flat pitch like Adelaide when Pietersen is on form, he just cannot be bowled at.
This Australia attack is powder-puff as it is but on that surface, when he's in that form, all you can is hope that he makes a mistake and gets himself out.
His self-confidence - which borders on arrogance - means that is always possible, when Pietersen is focussed like that, there is not much you can do.
It was interesting to hear him saying the pitch was doing plenty, because it was something Michael Hussey had said, but I've got to be honest and say I haven't really seen anything in it all.
Maybe he was just trying to lift Australian sports after the first day, but the pitches for these first two Tests are among the flattest I've ever seen.
It will make it tough for England to bowl Australia out, particularly with bad weather about. But England are right on top and they need to turn the screw. Now we will see just how effective this bowling unit is.
I do think they are going to need five bowlers in this series if they don't want the frontline four to be on their knees by the time the New Year comes and I would've taken the step of bringing in Monty Panesar for Paul Collingwood here.
They might not need him to win this now, but with rain expected on day five, they might not have as much time as they would like.
For now though, the England batsmen deserve all the credit. Their physical fitness is clearly supreme. It's tough for the bowlers but when it's 37 degerees, but it takes a lot for a batsman to concentrate in that heat as well.
Alistair Cook has showed he can do it, Pietersen was as dominant as only he can be and Jonathan Trott clearly loves batting in Australia. All we really need now is Paul Collingwood and Andrew Strauss to get scores and for Ian Bell to get more time in the middle.
He is clearly in the form of his life but I can't help thinking he is wasted down at six - although there's not much you can do when people are scoring double centuries! Had the rain not come I think he would've batted out the day and then England would have declared there and then.
Now though, you can expect the declaration just before the start of play tomorrow. There might be a bit of kidology from Andrew Strauss but I don't they are going to catch Shane Watson and Simon Katich by surprise; they will be preparing to bat from the off tomorrow.
Ricky Ponting knows what his side have to do and when he says we've been here before and dug ourselves out, what he was really saying was he knows he has very good batsmen in his side. They have all proved their quality over the years and if Michael Clarke and Marcus North can find some form, you cannot write them off.
It all depends on what happens with the new ball tomorrow morning. Australia are up against it as it is, but if they lose early wickets, their task will become impossible.