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December 18, 2008
England captain Kevin Pietersen has decided to wait until just before the start of the second Test to name his team. He admitted he was weighing up a number of options over how to approach a match England must win to level the series.
Having lost by six wickets in the first Test in Chennai, many of the players who sat out the match - Stuart Broad, Owais Shah, Amjad Khan and Adil Rashid - will be keen to impress and are pushing hard for inclusion.
"There are a few things we are thinking about," Pietersen said. "There are guys who have come on this trip who are raring to go and wanting to play and it's just about making a decision on which the best team is to try and win a Test match and try and play positive cricket."
Having been beaten 5-0 in the ODIs and losing in Chennai after dominating much of the match, England have not enjoyed the best of times in India, but Pietersen insisted his players were determined to set the record straight. "We haven't won anything for the first part of this winter so it's pretty simple - the lads want to win a Test match, the lads want to win a game for the first time this winter," he said.
"The lads are up for it and are raring to go. I thought the day after the Test would be a quiet day but the boys are fine, the boys are really focused now on doing what they can and not focusing on what's happened in the past."
Pietersen said England's poor run of form, which perhaps began with a disappointing Stanford Super Series, had made him all the more focused on finding the recipe for success. "What it does do is make you try and get up for the next fixture," he said. "I'm a winner and this team is full of winners and they hate losing as much as anyone else hates losing.
"The more you lose you can let it distract you and let it get you down, but to get as close as we did do the other day was fantastic although we got pipped at the post. I think it gets you up more and more the next day to try and put in a better performance. We just want to win."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia