Ashes Kevin Pietersen urges England to attack Mitchell Johnson

England have been urged to take the attack to Mitchell Johnson by Kevin Pietersen, ahead of this week's third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

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play (Omni Sports)
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Kevin Pietersen believes England must "embrace the challenge" of facing Mitchell Johnson in order to get the better of Australia's spearhead and regain the Ashes.

Having been derided by England supporters for his performances in previous Ashes contests, Johnson gained revenge in sensational style during Australia's 5-0 whitewash of England in 2013-14 - claiming 37 wickets through hostile and intimidating fast bowling.

The left-armer again proved too hot to handle when returning match figures of 6-80 as Australia levelled this year's five-match rubber at 1-1 with a thumping 405-run victory at Lord's.

Ahead of the third Test at Edgbaston, which starts on Wednesday, Pietersen has urged England to fight fire with fire.

In his column for the Telegraph, the exiled batsman wrote: "Mitchell Johnson has exerted a psychological hold over England"s batsmen ever since he sorted out his own mental approach to cricket. He has learnt to deal with the pressures of the international game much better than when he struggled here in England in 2009. He is twice the bowler now than he was then because his game has control and aggression.

"It is why he has a hold over a lot of batsmen all over the world, not just Englishmen. When I speak to players from other countries they all say how ridiculously well he is bowling at the moment.

"It is hard for teams to break that hold especially when he is in form. But you have to embrace the challenge and ignore the defeatist thoughts. When you retire from cricket you want to be able to look back and say you scored runs against the best teams in the toughest situations.

"So who cares if he is bowling well. England have to relish the challenge. I always wanted to test myself against the best.

"It is the time when you can put your head on the pillow as an international batsman and say 'Yes, I am good enough to be here, and I am up for this fight'. That is the attitude the batters have to take into this Test, not 'Oh no, Johnson is on top of his game'.

"You want to play against guys at the top of their game. Our guys certainly have the talent to stand up to him and I hope they take the attack to him."

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