England focused on India contest, says Pietersen

Published: Friday, November 7, 2008, 18:17 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

More images

England will try to make a fresh start during their tough one-day series in India following their disappointing Stanford defeat, captain Kevin Pietersen said Friday.

England slumped to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat in the winners-take-all 20 million dollar Twenty20 Stanford Superseries in Antigua last week, prompting widespread condemnation from fans and critics.

They are now set to play seven one-day internationals against the hosts, starting on November 14 in Rajkot, followed by a two-Test series.

"Last week wasn't special but it absolutely has no bearing on what will happen here in India," Pietersen told reporters here.

"This series is going to be very difficult. Beating India in India is tough. We drew the Test series last time but we got smashed 5-1 in the ODIs. We are just looking to improve."

Pietersen, 28, said his players were drawing confidence from the 4-0 one-day whitewash of South Africa at home in August.

"We would've won 5-0 if it had not rained in the final ODI in Cardiff. To beat South Africa 4-0, it's something we haven't done before. We are learning how to win," he said.

Pietersen, on his first full tour as captain after taking over from Michael Vaughan during the South Africa series, also said his team will look to break the confidence of India captain Mahendra Dhoni.

"Dhoni is a free customer when he goes out. He doesn't get too emotionally wound up by the looks of things.

"At the end of the day the players who play with him just want to do well. In terms of his captaincy he oozes confidence in the dressing room. We just need to try and keep that confidence down."

England coach Peter Moores also said the Stanford games were history and his players were focused on the Indian contest.

"The key is to get consistent runs and our batters have to fire. That was one thing that worked very well against South Africa," he said.

"With extra pace of Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff and the bounce that they can create from their height gives us a chance to take wickets in the middle. That could be really important."

England already have an injury concern with paceman Ryan Sidebottom nursing a calf problem he picked up in Antigua.

But Moores said even if Sidebottom failed to recover in time, the team still had four bowlers in the pace attack.

He also conceded that Sachin Tendulkar's absence from the Indian squad for the first three one-dayers would be a "bit of a bonus" for the tourists.

Tendulkar, the world's most prolific batsman, requested to be rested for the games in Rajkot, Indore (Nov 17) and Kanpur (Nov 20).

The remaining four matches will be played in Bangalore (Nov 23), Cuttack (Nov 26), Guwahati (Nov 29) and New Delhi (Dec 2).

Read more about: england, focused, contest, pietersen
Write Comments