New South Wales v England XI, Sydney November 13, 2006

Pietersen happy with acclimatisation

Cricinfo staff



Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff: back in the runs © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen shrugged off his recent problems against the short-pitched delivery, after cracking a swashbuckling unbeaten 80 from 111 balls on the second day of England's warm-up match against New South Wales at Sydney.

Pietersen had been undone by the bouncer in each of his last two outings against Australian opposition - at Jaipur in the Champions Trophy and during this week's Ashes opener at Canberra - but today he was back to his bombastic best, as he slammed two sixes and ten fours in England's best day of the tour so far.

"We've been playing a lot on the subcontinent and I haven't [faced] many deliveries of 90mph-plus over the last few months," Pietersen told reporters afterwards. "But I am working hard on these wickets.

"If you leave the short ball just to be negative and defensive then you have more opportunity of getting out or being injured," he added. "The key is to keep your eye on the ball for as long as possible and sway if you need to.

"At the end of the day you are going to get it, one, two, three or 11 times, you're going to get it and you just have to play it. It's a case of acclimatising and getting used to the Australian wickets and different conditions.

Pietersen was not the only English success on a day when both Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook passed fifty, and the captain, Andrew Flintoff, posted his first significant score since his return from ankle surgery. Marcus Trescothick, however, failed once again, bowled by Brett Lee for 8.

"Tres [Trescothick] was quite unlucky to knock his bail off, but it was positive after a lot was written and said about [the team]," added Pietersen. "They have done fantastically well today after having a poor day in Canberra, yesterday was definitely an improvement, and coming on today the bowlers did a fantastic job. They are still not 100% but are definitely, definitely improving.

"I think a really big positive from today is the bowling attack we faced," he continued. "You have four possibilities of pacemen in the Australian side, definitely Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath and then Stuart Clark and Nathan Bracken.

"It was a test today," said Pietersen. "We've probably got three innings, this one and two in Adelaide [against South Australia] before we play the Test in Brisbane. So it was important for guys to get in and score a few runs."