The Telegraph
Monday , November 26 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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I worked hard: Kevin

Mumbai: Kevin Pietersen trusting his defence a lot more in this Test match helped him play a magical 186 at the Wankhede on Sunday.

“I did a lot of hard work after Ahmedabad and luckily that paid off,” the former England captain said at a press conference.

The following are excerpts

If this innings will rank high in his career

Yeah... It would mean a lot more if we win on Monday. It was a pretty difficult wicket. You knew that at some stage the ball had your name on it. To have got them on this track was fun.

Comparing his innings here with the one in Ahmedabad

I wasn’t playing well in Ahmedabad. I did not trust my defence as much as I trusted my defence coming into this Test match… As a batter if you don’t trust your defence, you try too many things to force the issue. I did a lot of hard work as I always do and luckily that paid off.

If the sweep shot was a conscious move

Some of the greatest batsmen who have come to India and have been successful have been very good sweepers. Our coach (Andy Flower) for one, Matthew Hayden… They have all been very good players of spin and sweep. It messes around the length that the spinners bowl. It messes around the field. It also negates the leg gully. As long as you play it well and pick the right ball, then it’s good. But if you play it off the sixth or seventh ball and miss it, you look like a clown.

If he enjoys batting in difficult situations

Sometime, yes but not always. You just have to keep it simple. Doing the basics right, trusting your defence and I did that here...

On whether he was too anxious to do well in this Test

Not at all. I like to keep things simple. I just didn’t trust my defence in Ahmedabad… But the preparation leading into that Test match was excellent. It’s just that I didn’t trust my defence enough.

If he can play more such innings

I don’t think too much about the future as I don’t take myself very seriously... I do everything on a day-to-day basis. I live my life day to day.

The celebrations

Getting hundreds for England, especially with Cooky going to No. 22 and then telling me that ‘you have only five to go and you are there as well’ was a special moment… Chef (Cook) was magnificent. It’s a great feeling to be there at the top with Chef.

Comparing the Indian and English spinners

I haven’t faced my own spinners, but our spinners bowled a bit quicker. Graeme Swann is probably No. 1 or 2 as far as off-spinners are concerned along with Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan. His numbers have proved that and Monty always does a good job for us. He got 10 in the game and he is not finished yet. He bowls at a very good pace. You know that when you face him in the nets, he bowls at a magificent pace in the nets. It’s quite hard when it goes.

The dressing room atmosphere

The dressing room is absolutely fine. It’s fantastic. We are sticking together really well. We are all helping each other out. We are working hard as we always do and we’re also not letting things get on top of us. If anyone is going through a bit of rough time, everybody helps the player out. It’s a very united dressing room at the moment. It’ll be even more united if we can pull off a victory tomorrow.

The Indian team’s mindset

I don’t know what mindset the Indian team has. I know the mindset of our boys and what we have got. We have come here to learn and we have come here to try and win and we want to be up to the challenge.