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'Winning in India is tougher than Ashes'

Pietersen, who played a stellar role in England's victory over Australia in Ashes 2005, feels winning in India is probably tougher.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 19:08 IST

Kevin Pietersen, who played a stellar role in England's victory over Australia in last summer's Ashes series, feels winning in India is probably tougher than last summer's Ashes series.

"Winning out there is a huge challenge and probably tougher than last summer's Ashes series," Pieterson said in The News Of The World on Sunday, ahead of their two months tour of India.

India had upstaged England from the number two position after their win against Sri Lanka and the visitors would be keen on winning it back.

"It's long been our aim to make England the best cricket team in the world by 2007. This head-to-head with India is our chance to end all arguments about who is ranked the No 2 side behind the Aussies," he wrote.

"We love a challenge. The odds may be in India's favour— just as they were for the Aussies last summer. But that will just make us work even harder to prove those predictions wrong."

The all-rounder said England had learnt from their mistakes against Pakistan and the team would try not to repeat them against the Indians.

"They have an awesome batting line-up, great spinners and quality left-arm pacemen," he said.

Pieterson said absence of a tested spinner like Ashley Giles was quite a blow to the visitors.

"Unfortunately, we have had to leave Ashley Giles, our only proven Test spinner, at home because he is still recovering from his hip injury.

"It's a real blow but it gives our other spinners— Shaun Udal, Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar— the chance of a lifetime and it's up to them to grab it. That's one of the strengths of Michael Vaughan's side."

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 16:50 IST