India v England, 2nd Test, Mohali December 18, 2008

Pietersen rules out 'too much change'

Cricinfo staff


Kevin Pietersen: "Everyone probably wrote us off before we came out here but the boys have been very special in terms of the way they all jumped on the plane and how much they are really putting in" © Getty Images
 

Kevin Pietersen has said England don't need to change too much for the second Test in Mohali, starting on Friday. England, he said, had performed creditably enough in Chennai to claim 70% of the Test and push India hard.

"I don't see a reason to change much," Pietersen said on Wednesday. "We played fantastically well and if a few things had gone our way on the final day we would have won that Test and been 1-0 up so I don't think there's cause to start trying to change too much.

"We have to look at the fact we won 70% of that fixture and then unfortunately got pipped at the post."

India were set to chase 387 and reached the target comfortably after tea on the fifth day, losing only four wickets in the process.

Some personnel changes can still be effected in England's line-up, with Monty Panesar, the left-arm spinner, under pressure to hold his place after going wicketless in India's second innings despite the pitch taking turn. The more seamer-friendly conditions in Mohali could prompt the inclusion of either Stuart Broad or the uncapped Amjad Khan.

Given the circumstances which nearly led to the tour being cancelled over security fears, Pietersen was delighted with the spirit with which the team played and the challenge posed to the home side after a 5-0 thrashing in the ODIs.

"Everyone probably wrote us off before we came out here but the boys have been very special in terms of the way they all jumped on the plane and how much they are really putting in," he said. "You can always look in hindsight but we tried everything we could.

"You've got a freak of a bloke (Sachin Tendulkar) who bats at No.4 for India, and a freak who opens the batting (Virender Sehwag).

"It was disheartening but the boys are raring to go again now and training with a real purpose. It hasn't been a great start to the winter and we want to level this series and we want to try to end it on a positive note."

England need to win in Mohali to square the series 1-1 and return home with a moral victory and they can turn to the Mumbai Test in 2006 for inspiration.