Pietersen refuses to switch off power game

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The Independent Online

Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, has said his side need to show more patience on this tour of India than they did in their unsuccessful spell in Pakistan, but Kevin Pietersen, the big-hitting middle-order batsman, is refusing to change his approach the game.

"It entertainsthe crowd," said Pietersen, whowas a major contributor to England's 36 sixes during last summer's Ashes victory. "It is great for the game. I know blokes like [India's Virender] Sehwag, [Sachin] Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and this new guy Mahendra Dhoni play more shots in 10 balls than me when I get 150.

"They are not slogging, they are playing really good cricket shots and that is the same as me and Freddie [Flintoff], some of our players and others around the world. Hopefully, the purists do accept it but I honestly don't care what people think of me as long as I keep scoring runs. It doesn't bother me if people think I am unorthodox, a slogger, a hacker or a monkey."

Call him what you want, Pietersen was missed in the one-day series defeat by Pakistan before Christmas as a cracked rib forced him out after two games of the five. "It feels a little uncomfortable because I have started being active again," he said. "I was told to rest my body for four to six weeks, so I did absolutely nothing back home with my family. My muscles seem to be getting back into the groove of things but there is no pain, just a little discomfort, so I am not concerned, I am feeling good."

Michael Vaughan's right knee survived batting at the Brabourne Stadium while Simon Jones continues his successful rehabilitation from ankle surgery.

Pietersen added: "Against Australia was a heck of a tough summer, with regards to the pressure we were under - the way the games went were mind-sapping - but this will be mentally and physically hard in the heat."

"The conditions are going to be testing [in India] but I love a challenge and the whole England team loves a challenge," Pietersen said.

"It is going to be a fascinating series because they have world-class bowlers who can bowl out any team on their day and we have got some pretty good batters."

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