England's wins a sign of their potential - Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen has said that England's encouraging performance so far in the one-day series is a sign of better things to come for England as a one-day team. England are leading the seven-match series 2-1 after their comprehensive 42-run victory in the third ODI at Edgbaston, which also marked the first time England have scored in excess of 280 in three successive games.
"In the nearly three years I've played for England there have not been many mornings when you wake up thinking 'we could win a one-day series' - and a big series at that," Pietersen said at the launch of an Urban Cricket arena in Birmingham. "In three games we have scored around 900 runs and I haven't played in an England team that could say that."
England have had mixed fortunes as a one-day side in the last year. They had a slow start to the CB Series in Australia earlier this year before edging out New Zealand and beating Australia 2-0 in the finals. However, they failed to maintain their momentum in the World Cup, despite making the Super Eights. Against India, they've been particularly impressive in the field and the top order has shown consistency.
Pietersen singled out the performances of Alastair Cook, Chris Tremlett and Ian Bell. Cook scored his maiden ODI century in the first match at the Rose Bowl and has been getting the side off to good starts. Bell followed his ton in the first match with two half-centuries while Tremlett has chipped in with vital wickets at Edgbaston after being taken to the cleaners in the second ODI at Bristol.
"In the last three games we've got guys like Alastair Cook, who we know can play, scoring a hundred, and guys like Ian Bell starting to fulfil his potential," said Pietersen. "He [Tremlett] had taken some stick and not started too well but he's a wicket-taker. I know from facing him in the nets at Hampshire it's not fun facing somebody who bowls from seven-and-a-half feet."
Pietersen shrugged off concerns over his own form with the bat after failing to convert his starts. After his breezy unbeaten cameo 33 at the Rose Bowl, he scored 25 and 9 in the next two matches, though he pointed out that it didn't matter as long as the team was winning.
"I've always said no matter how many runs I score if England are winning that's when I'm happiest. Right now I'm happy. The hundreds I've scored are in losing causes...they're good for stats. But everyone wants to be in a winning dressing room."
Pietersen gave due credit to Piyush Chawla, the legspinner who dismissed him on both occasions. He referred to an instance in a 2005 Challenger Trophy match in India where Chawla shot to prominence after getting Sachin Tendulkar stumped with a big legbreak.
"You can play in the nets against spinners from the subcontinent who can make you look like a bit of a clown because they've got variation," he said. "Fair play to the bloke. One of the reasons he's here is because he knocked [Sachin] Tendulkar over in a trial game a couple of years ago. He's a good little bowler."