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Seeing off the new ball spells success for England: KP

cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2011 15:21 IST

PTI
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The strategy of using up as much of the new ball as possible is the secret of England's batting success in the ongoing Test series against India, revealed middle-order mainstay Kevin Pietersen.

"One of the principles our team lives by is using up as much of the new ball as possible. Getting opposition bowlers up to their third, fourth and fifth spells because then we know it will end up with some opportunities for big scores," stated Pietersen who smashed 175 runs in the team total of 457 for three by the end of second day's play in the fourth and final Test against India.

"It's nice to score around 400 runs in a day and our team is doing it regularly at the moment."

In all the three preceding Tests, England have recorded at least 450 runs on the board.

"We know that the longer we bat, the more runs we'll be able to accumulate, the more balls we'll be able to put away."

The team now has a formidable top-order, which has Alastair Cook heading the list with 19 centuries, and the other three, Andrew Strauss (19), Ian Bell (16) and Kevin Pietersen (19) are all capable of overtaking England's record of 22 tons.

"I don't think we've surprised ourselves. If you look how hard this team has worked in the last two years. The wheel has to turn and we're lucky to be all dovetailing," Pietersen said.

"If someone misses out, someone else gets the runs and that's what good teams do. It would be nice to get a record. But I think there are a lot of players in this team who are going to get more than 22 hundreds.

"It's not a competition. It's not a race. It's just a case of winning games for England, getting us into position where we can win games," he added.

This was Pietersen's fourth century at the Oval and he termed it "pretty cool".

The tall South Africa-batsman was full of praise for his partner Ian Bell, who is still batting on 181.

"He's been magnificent over the last 12-18 months. He's grown as a person, he's matured so much and I love the fact he's scoring so fluently. He's so pleasing on the eye when he's batting.

"We've contrasting styles. I'm taller, he's shorter. I batted pretty well with Paul Collingwood — the balls he drove were really full balls for me. Balls that I drove were nice punchy balls for Colly. It was pretty similar and long, may it continue."