Indian Premier League March 13, 2009

Pietersen attributes India's one-day success to IPL

Cricinfo staff


Kevin Pietsersen: "Have you seen the way they (India) are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year - India are on a different level" © Getty Images
 

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said the IPL contributed in a big way to India's recent success as a one-day team. He said greater participation by England players in the annual Twenty20 tournament would help improve their consistency in one-day internationals.

"I think the reason why India have gone through the roof is because of the Indian Premier League," Pietersen told BBC Sport. "After missing out last year, there is no way we can get up there if we don't play."

Pietersen is among five England players - Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara are the others - who will play in the IPL which is scheduled to begin on April 10. The inaugural season in 2008 featured only one England player, Dimitri Mascarenhas, that too for one game, because it clashed with the start of the county season. However, the ECB eased the restrictions by clearing its players to play in the 2009 IPL for three weeks.

Pietersen was the England captain when they lost 5-0 in India last year. India continued their good form in Sri Lanka, winning the series 4-1, and now in New Zealand, where they have won the five-ODI series with a match in hand. All three ODI victories in New Zealand were set up by the top order, with Virender Sehwag leading the way with a blazing hundred in Hamilton, and Sachin Tendulkar smashing an unbeaten 163 in Christchurch.

"India are taking one-day cricket to a different level," Pietersen said. "Have you seen the way they are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year - India are on a different level.

"It's important for our players to learn how to hit fours and sixes. You can do that in Twenty20 cricket and you can practise it. You must practise it in order to play it. In the middle, when you try to play like that you have to know you've practised it, and Twenty20 is a boundary fest. I'm afraid to say it but they have taken the game to a new level because of the IPL and I think the players recognise that."

England are scheduled to play a Twenty20 international against West Indies in Trinidad on March 15.

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