Pietersen backs England’s misfiring batsmen to come good

London: England batsman Kevin Pietersen has defended his team’s malfunctioning ODI batting line-up as “six world-class batsmen” worthy of support.

“We are a side who know we have six world-class batsmen. I just think we must back the players we have to get the best out of their ability and, if all of us get the best out of our ability, we are going to score a lot of runs,” a daily quoted Pietersen, as saying.

Pietersen, who has just two ODI half-centuries since November 2008, also admitted that he has a responsibility to contribute more.

“I know my role and what I need to be doing. And I’m not doing it. I’m getting to 30 or 40 aggressively, but not kicking on,” he said.

The 31-year-old further said that Alastair Cook has his backing despite a shaky start to his time as the new ODI captain.

“Cooky is in charge [and] it’s vital that whatever decisions he makes, we back. That’s got to be good for his confidence. To become a successful and confident captain, you want to have the backing of your players,” Pietersen said.

Cook began his tenure as Andrew Strauss’ with a 110-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval, but consecutive defeats have followed, by significant margins, at Headingley and Lord’s.

The fourth match of the five-match series will be played on Wednesday at Trent Bridge.


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