Start of England's one-day season June 11, 2006

England building depth - Pietersen

Cricinfo staff



Kevin Pietersen: 'It is positive to see that guys have come in and done well" © Getty Images
Kevin Pietersen is positive in whatever he does, so it is no surprise that he is looking on the bright side of England's recent dip in fortunes. The drawn series against Sri Lanka was a major disappointment - although for Pietersen it was a huge personal success and his duels with Muttiah Muralitharan were the highlight - but he believes there will be long-term benefits for England.

Pietersen told the BBC Radio Five Live Sportsweek programme: "Yes, the results have not been as good, but at least you know what depth we have got, and the strength we have in English cricket in terms of what comes after [Michael] Vaughan, Simon Jones, [Steve] Harmison and all the players who have missed out in the last six months."

He pointed out the performances from the likes of Monty Panesar and Liam Plunkett as signs that England are in a healthy state. "It is positive to see that guys have come in and done well. Monty got a five-for, Cook's playing well, Plunkett's playing well. They have come in and done good jobs.

So it is good to know when we do get everyone back, we have still got back-up players who can come in, with Test matches behind them, that they can do a proper job."

England's thoughts are now shifting towards the first one-day leg of the season with the ODI against Ireland on Tuesday before the Twenty20 International and Natwest Series against Sri Lanka. Pietersen is one of the most experienced players in a new-look squad that includes six players without an ODI cap.

With Andrew Flintoff resting his ankle injury, Andrew Strauss will lead the side and Pietersen is backing him to take the job in his stride. "He has got a good cricketing brain and his whole personality and aura is really suited to captaincy so I am sure he will do a fantastic job."

As is Pietersen's way, he is not getting too down about recent results and neither is he looking too far ahead. His main priority is the next three weeks of one-day cricket. "It is just a case now of going out and getting some positive results for England, and playing some really good entertaining cricket.

"We have got so many games before that first [Ashes] Test in Brisbane, so it is just a case of worrying about what the story is for next week, instead of worrying about the long term."

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