x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pietersen urges England to keep their resolve

The England captain Kevin Pietersen has urged his team to keep "their chins up" as he attempts to salvage some success in India.

Kevin Pietersen looks on during the award ceremony at the end of the fourth one-day international cricket match between India and England in Bangalore on Nov 23. India beat England by 19 runs.
Kevin Pietersen looks on during the award ceremony at the end of the fourth one-day international cricket match between India and England in Bangalore on Nov 23. India beat England by 19 runs.

The England captain Kevin Pietersen has urged his team to keep "their chins up" as he attempts to salvage some success amid the ruins of the side's one-day campaign in India. The tourists have already lost the seven-match series after slipping to their fourth consecutive loss but with next month's two Test matches looming, Pietersen wants England keep morale high. "Playing in India is completely different to playing in England," Pietersen said after India won the rain-curtailed fourth match here yesterday by 19 runs to clinch the series. "The ball does not swing, seam or bounce here, it is a totally different game. But what better place to play than in India, where cricket is a religion and we have just got to get our chins up and make sure the rest of this series is competitive." The England captain wants the fightback to start in the fifth match in Cuttack on Wednesday night. "The boys have been treated well, they have been having a fantastic time and I want their chins up," said Pietersen. "I do not want to see anybody with their heads down and moping around. We want to come back firing on all cylinders on Wednesday. "We have got to bounce back and make sure we keep this series competitive. We are going to hold our heads up high and get on with trying to win some games of cricket." England's woes increased when the left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom was ruled out of the rest of the series with a side strain after having recovered from an earlier Achilles problem. He will, however, remain with the tourists for the two-Test series that starts in Ahmedabad on Dec 11. The second Test will be played in Mumbai from Dec 19. India, meanwhile, hope to test some fringe players in the last three one-dayers as the selectors look to build a squad for the 2011 World Cup in the Indian subcontinent. "You will see a few changes in the side in the next three matches," said Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni. "Some of the people who have not played in the series so far will play but we will still look to win games. Three more matches to come and we want to win those games too." After the Cuttack match on Wednesday, the last two games will be played in Guwahati on Nov 29 and New Delhi on Dec 2. *AFP