No need to change our approach: Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen doesn't think his colleagues were negative in their approach in the epic Chennai Test and insists the visitors need not change their game.

updated: December 18, 2008 10:58 IST
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Kevin Pietersen does not believe his batting colleagues were negative in their approach in the epic Chennai Test and insists the visitors need not change their game in the final Test against India either.

"In Chennai, we got into a good position to win the match and India eventually chased down a score which created a great history. I don't think we need to change much," Pietersen told reporters ahead of the second Test starting on Friday.

"In Chennai, we played fantastic cricket for three and half days. The fourth and fifth days were not our days and unfortunately we lost. But we played fantastic cricket there and I don't think there is any reason to change our approach," he explained.

Incidentally, England batting coach and former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower was among those who believed England lost the momentum in Chennai because of their slow batting there. Pietersen, meanwhile, kept the cards close to his chest and decided not to announce the playing XI for the final match of the series.

"We have not decided the side, sorry. There are a few things we are looking into and a final decision would be taken only tomorrow," he said.

The England management is mulling replacing out-of-form Ian Bell with Owais Shah while seamer Stuart Broad is fit to play, at the cost of either Steve Harmison or James Anderson both of whom had an average outing in Chennai.

Pietersen said more than replacing off-colour players, he was looking into the whole picture. "It's pretty much full work and we are looking at the whole thing. There are guys who have come on this trip who are raring to go and wanting to play and it's just about making a decision on who the best team is to try and win a Test match and try and play positive cricket," he said.

Pietersen admitted Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma troubled them in Chennai with their grasp of reverse swing and felt England too needed to get it going if they are to win the Test here and level the series.

"I definitely think it's going to be crucial and so we would try to get some reverse swing here. Unfortunately, we didn't get much of it in Chennai, which nullified a few things in bits and pieces. The surface is brazen here and we are looking to get some reverse swing going," he said.

According to him, the defeat in Chennai has left England with the lone option of winning the match here and level the series, which they are quite capable of.

"It's simple now. We have to get hard here. In Chennai, we won 70 per cent of the Test. Though we lost the match, the boys can be proud of how they performed. After losing Stanford Super Series and then the 5-0 defeat in the ODI series (against India), to come so close before losing the match in Chennai was a brilliant show," he said.

Against a star-studded Indian batting order, job, however, would not be easy, admitted Pietersen.

"It's a pretty good batting lineup. If we get rid of Gautam (Gambhir), and then (Virender) Sehwag, you have Rahul Dravid and then freak of a bloke at number four (Sachin Tendulkar). It gets to number 5,6,7...

"I don't think the Sehwag-Gambhir pair as the biggest hurdle for us, there are quite a few. But of course Sehwag's wicket is crucial. He plays a different expansive game and it would be a tough task for our bowlers," he said.

Pietersen said he has sought tips from a few former captains and would like to put them to use whenever required. "It's going to be tough but I have got some advice from some of the former captains and you take them with you when going gets tough," he said.

Among others, Pietersen had a lengthy discussion with Mike Brearley in the flight from Chennai to Chandigarh.