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Pietersen raring to go

The England batsman backed his swashbuckling style to succeed against the tough challenge of India's high-class spin attack.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 18:01 IST

England batsman Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday backed his swashbuckling style to succeed against the tough challenge of India's high-class spin attack.

Pietersen, 25, recuperating from a rib injury and enjoying his longest break in five years with his family in South Africa, said he was raring to get back into action in the three-Test series in India.

He defended his aggressive technique saying it did not matter if he was called a "slogger, hacker or a monkey" as long as he kept scoring runs.

Pietersen said his style— that won him huge popularity in England during last year's Ashes victory against Australia— did not even come close to some of the Indians in the ongoing one-dayers in Pakistan.

Citing players such as wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Dhoni, Pietersen said: "They play more shots in 10 balls then I play if I get 150."

Pietersen, who smashed an Ashes-record of seven sixes in his knock of 158 in the final Test that helped secure the Ashes victory, said he was looking forward to challenges posed by Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble.

"They are world-class spinners, it's going to be a challenge facing them. I'm looking forward to the challenge, but I don't think I'm going to change my technique.

"I think it's great for the game and hopefully the purists do accept it," he added.

Pietersen, who had to miss a one-day series in Pakistan last year because of the rib injury, said he was "very, very happy" with his recovery.

"It gave me my first two months off in I don't know how many, five or six years," he told reporters at the England team hotel in Mumbai.

"I'm not concerned at all because there's no pain."

England will play three Tests and seven one-dayers in cricket-mad India, where they have not won a Test series since David Gower's tourists triumphed 2-1 in 1985.

India have lost just three of the last 25 Test series played at home on wickets that traditionally favour spin bowling.

Rahul Dravid's Indians are currently touring Pakistan, where they lost a three-Test series 1-0 and currently lead a five-match one-day series 2-1.

England will play two warm-up matches before the Test series commences in Nagpur on March 1 with Mohali and Mumbai as the other Test venues.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 16:48 IST