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Pietersen warms up to captaincy

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Old 12-25-2008, 07:59 PM
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Default Pietersen warms up to captaincy

Mohali: Kevin Pietersen believes his first major away tour as England captain would help him mould the team with a demanding 2009 season ahead.
England ended the India tour without a win after challenges on and off the pitch, following the drawn second Test in Mohali on Tuesday.

The visitors lost the two-Test series 1-0 after India claimed a memorable six-wicket win in the first Test in Chennai, chasing down a mammoth fourth innings target of 387 on a wearing pitch.
England had dominated until tea on the fourth day and shone at times in the weather-hit Mohali encounter.
Pietersen himself stroked a masterly 144, his 15th century in only his 45th Test in Mohali to underline his status as one of the most destructive batsmen in the game. England showed their resilience despite a 5-0 loss in the preceding one-day series and poor preparation for the Tests.

Pietersen won praise for keeping the squad together before they resumed the aborted India tour, following security concerns in the wake of last month's militant attacks in Mumbai.
"I don't think the captaincy of any nation is an easy job, in any sport," he said. "The knowledge (with which) you take on the job, it is going to be very difficult, the last two months have been pretty difficult."

Pietersen succeeded Michael Vaughan, who stood down in tears during this year's home series defeat by South Africa, with Paul Collingwood giving up the one-day role.

"You learn a lot about individuals overseas. Vaughan and Colly (Collingwood), the blokes I played under, they say that when you go away you learn how individuals operate, how they go around the team.
"There is a lot I have learned over here. It has been a very, very interesting first two Test matches away from home. I've enjoyed it, it has been a great challenge out here.

"You can look at positives, see how tough it is; when the good times come back again you can enjoy them a lot more."
His century, braving a cracked rib, eased early concerns of captaincy hampering England's best batsman.

England tour West Indies next month before preparing for the Ashes series at home in June. They are scheduled to tour South Africa in November.
Pietersen showed signs of warming up to his job, effusively praising players while holding back on questions about Vaughan's comeback or the poor form of number three batsman Ian Bell.

"It is not something I have thought of," he said of Vaughan.

Bell made 17, 7, 1 and 24 not out in the India Tests to extend his indifferent run since he made 199 in the first Test against South Africa.
"The best thing is to relax, watch the (past) good stuff. Watch the ball and hit the ball," he said.
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