Former England cricketer James Taylor has accused Kevin Pietersen of ‘abusing’ him and wanting ‘other people in the team’ in place of him in the Test side. James had made his Test debut in 2012 against South Africa at the Headingley in Leeds.
The 31-year-old said he has all the respect for Kevin Pietersen as a cricketer but he can’t quite say the same about Pietersen as a person. Notably, James was forced to quit all formats of cricket in 2016 due to a serious heart condition.
“I was 21, making my debut, and there was so much noise. KP had obviously said stuff about me and abused me but when I heard about it,” Taylor told the Giving The Game Away podcast, as per Sky Sports.
“Usually when somebody’s abusing you or you’re being bullied at school your heart would sink because someone’s being nasty to you, and nobody likes that. But honestly, I didn’t care. Not in an arrogant way, but I’m really proud of myself,” he added.
In that Test match in Leeds, Pietersen and Taylor had put on a 147-run stand for the fifth wicket to help England avoid an early scare. While Taylor had scored a patient 34 on debut, Pietersen had slammed an inspiring 149.
“Me and KP put on 150 or something like that. That was my first partnership,” he stated.
Kevin Pietersen didn’t want me in the team: James Taylor
Taylor said adding that his gritty innings was perhaps overshadowed by Pietersen’s brilliance.
“I like to think my innings got overlooked because he was so unbelievable and played that phenomenal inning which was one of the best innings you’ll see. Arguably, if he’d played to the situation he wouldn’t have played anything like that innings.
“It was a phenomenal innings against one of the best attacks and I just blunted it up the other end, tried to get him on strike, but nobody remembers that I was playing the situation,” he further stated.
Taylor, who played 7 Tests and 27 ODIs for England, said he never quite got along with Pietersen who always used to say things to him. He also said that Pietersen wanted other players in the team, instead of him.
“I didn’t know KP. For some reason we never got on, not that I didn’t like him initially because I didn’t know him, he just took it on himself not to be a decent bloke to me or with me around for some reason.
“I will never use it as an excuse, but people say I didn’t play more than initially because people thought I was too small. KP obviously jumped on that bandwagon and said stuff about me because he wanted other people in the team other than me,” he further added.
“As a cricketer – legend, brilliant, love watching him. But as a person at the time and what I saw I didn’t respect him that much so it didn’t hurt me as much,” Taylor concluded.