Pietersen defends sweep shot amid criticisms

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Attacking England batsman Kevin Pietersen displayed cautious aggression when he defended the criticism from the media regarding his sweep shot, which cost England the first ODI against India, saying that its was a right shot played at the wrong time.

''Yesterday was not a silly shot,'' Pietersen told BBC Five Live.

''Most days I'd probably hit it out of the ground but in terms of the situation, needing three (runs per over) it looks like a lot worse shot that I normally play,'' he admitted.

England were 117 for three when Pietersen got out and crashed to 164 all out after his dismissal.

''It was a full toss in a scoring area where I score a lot of runs for England and it was just unfortunate I hit it down to a fielder,'' he said.

Pietersen said though he was disappointed with the loss but believed there was time to make amends.

''I don't feel happy waking up knowing we were so close and we lost the game. But I'm not going to punish myself because I know that I'm playing really well.'' ''We're looking forward to the next six games because we know the Indian team can be beaten,'' he said.

Meawhile, the British media lambasted the team for losing a golden opportunity to gain an upper-hand over the hosts and blamed the defeat on the batsmen, who played sweep shots off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh and literally threw their wickets.

The Times said English were swept away by Harbhajan playing the ''slog-sweep''. The daily said the tourists collapse was ''reckless''.

The Daily Telegraph said the performance was the ''worst in a long line of England One-day horrors'' and Flintoff has the huge task to motivate the side ahead of the second One-dayer in Faridabad.

The Mirror in a report headlined ''Indians sweep home'' described England's chase a wasted effort and called on Flintoff to take the blame for the loss.

The other newspapers echoed the view with the Independent accusing Pietersen of engaging in a run scoring race with Flintoff and trying to out score his captain.

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