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Yuvraj a pie-chucker: Pietersen

Published: Monday, December 22, 2008, 12:43 [IST]
 
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KP happy to face 'Pie-Chucker' Yuvraj

Mohali: England captain Kevin Pietersen on Sunday ridiculed his opposite number Yuvraj Singh by labelling him a "pie-chucker" after India seized control of the final Test by claiming two late wickets on the third day.

The England captain and Andrew Flintoff fell in the space of 12 balls having shared a 149-run partnership to leave the tourists still trailing by 171 runs on 282 for six.

It was a crucial double blow which effectively ended England's chances of winning the match and levelling the series, and halted a superb comeback after they slipped to one for two at the start of the day.

Before those late wickets it was Pietersen's confrontation with Yuvraj which had been the main talking point, with India captain MS Dhoni turning to his left-arm spin as soon as Pietersen strode to the crease.

"When the ball is swinging and seaming and you've got a guy like Zaheer Khan, who is one of the best bowlers I've ever faced, not bowling at you and you've got a pie-chucker like Yuvraj Singh bowling at you I really don't mind," said Pietersen.

"When you've got Zaheer Khan bowling from one end and you get left-arm filth like that it makes you feel really good."

Yuvraj almost won the battle however, with Pietersen close to getting an inside edge onto his stumps from the first delivery and driving just wide of extra cover off the sixth ball.

The pair have waged a constant war of words throughout the series, Yuvraj performing a rabbit impression during the last Test after dismissing Pietersen, who responded to that early challenge to his authority by hitting a masterful 144 today.

India coach Gary Kirsten said Yuvraj's introduction was not part of their gameplan, adding: "He's got him out a couple of times, but you can get out to pie-chuckers as well. He's a very effective bowler.

"We didn't discuss anything in the changing room but that's MS for you, he'll come up with something. It was a great option to see if he could do something for an over.

"It happens like that sometimes as a batsman, you can get out a couple of times to a bowler and you don't want to face him. It was a nice bit of thinking and we went back to what we wanted to do straight afterwards."

Pietersen hit 17 fours in his innings and switch-hit Harbhajan Singh for six until India's premier spinner got his revenge by trapping him lbw in the penultimate over.

Flintoff, who battled to 62, fell off the final ball of the day when he was caught at short leg off leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

"It's frustrating to lose wickets at the end of the day and to lose myself and Freddie was very frustrating," added Pietersen.

"My decision could probably have gone my way and Freddie, it's interesting that the light changes within three or four seconds to when it's right to come off the field."

Kirsten believes India are now in a good position to seal victory and wrap up a 2-0 series win which would propel them to second in the world rankings.

"It was certainly very important for us to get the two wickets at the end," he admitted. "Up until then England were playing unbelievably well and it was one of the great Test match knocks that Pietersen was able to deliver.

"They were scoring at a good rate under pressure and those two wickets turned it around for us. We still have a substantial lead and we're in a very good position now in the Test match."

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