Sir Ian Botham praises Kevin Pietersen's "big innings"

Sir Ian Botham hails the innings of Kevin Pietersen, who made 113 runs on day three at Old Trafford.

Former England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has hailed Kevin Pietersen for his "big innings" that has kept the third Ashes Test alive.

Pietersen struck a defiant 113 at Old Trafford to become England's leading run scorer, which led to Botham stating that a draw is still possible in the match.

"Pietersen played magnificently," Botham told Sky Sports News. "He was controlled and aggressive when required. He went two-and-a-quarter hours without a boundary after a flurry of sixes; he set his stall out to play a big innings.

"Pietersen was always going to take [Nathan Lyon] on and when he did he suddenly gave Michael Clarke a problem. Does he keep the spinner going? If he doesn't, then there's more work for the seamers.

"It was a tough one but Michael Clarke will be frustrated; that said Australia are still in a very good position."

England will start day four 233 runs behind.

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England's Kevin Pietersen raise his bat moments after reaching 50 runs during the third day of the third Ashes Test on August 3, 2013
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