Arthur's comments on Pietersen's exit a mind game?

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Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 11:42 [IST]
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Aussie coach playing mind games?

London, Jul 3: Australian coach Mickey Arthur feels though England have won four successive ODIs after Kevin Pietersen's retirement the team will miss their batsman in due course of time, seems to be a mind game as England are leading the five match ODI series 2-0 against Australia.

Arthur observing the current status of England and its batsmen said currently the team has been fantastic, as they have not lost a match after the South African-born Pietersen retired from limited overs format to concentrate purely on Test cricket, but might miss him in future when they are under pressure.

Ian Bell, who replaced Pietersen in the team, has been fabulous with scores of 125, 53, 41 and 75 against the West Indies and Australia which helped England win the series against Windies and take a 2-0 lead against Aussies in the five match ODI series.

"He's been fantastic, so it would have been an interesting selection poser," said Arthur on Ian Bell's form.

Arthur further added that England might miss their star batsman in the future as he is a world class player and any team would miss such a player.

"Kevin's a world-class player, there's certainly no getting away from that," said Arthur.

"You would say they've gone seemingly well without him, because I don't think they've lost an ODI since he's gone. But down the line I think they might feel the weight of that decision, because he is a class act - and he was playing very, very well as well before it ended for him."

"At the moment they're not missing him but down the line, not sure."

Arthur who had earlier said that Pietersen's retirement had surprised him as he was in impeccable form and also slammed the England and Wales Cricket Board for forcing Pietersen's exit from limited overs.

While Australians are known for playing mind games before or during an important series, this Arthur-Pietersen episode, could well be a mind game to save the series as Arthur's men have lost two matches in a row in the five match ODI series against England.

His comments on Pietersen's absence is to rekindle the episode that got over last month, as it is the Aussie coach's attempt to put the hosts under pressure by talking about Kevin Pietersen and the void created by his retirement.

It remains to be seen if Aussies succeed yet again by playing such mindgames, as they have been down 0-2 in the five match series.


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