London: Kevin Pietersen has labelled Graeme Swann`s recent autobiography as "not a clever book" after his England team-mate went into print to criticise him as "not a natural leader".
Pietersen, in an interview with the BBC today, insisted he had a good relationship with Swann and that the fall-out from the off-spinner`s book would have no bearing on England`s team spirit ahead of their upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
"Things are absolutely fine," said Pietersen. "It was Swanny, Swanny likes to talk. It`s not a clever book in the middle of your career, but it`s not affecting anything that`s going on in the team for sure.”
"The team spirit we`ve got at the moment... a book won`t change anything like that," Pietersen added.
"When we go to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in a couple of weeks time, the team will be as united as ever and that`s not going to change for one second because of a book," star batsman Pietersen insisted.
Pietersen was briefly England`s captain across all formats but resigned in January 2009 after questioning the credentials of then coach Peter Moores, who was sacked from his post.
Their exits paved the way for the successful alliance between current Test captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower that this year took England, who won the Ashes 3-1 in Australia and then, at home, whitewashed India 4-0, to the top of the world Test rankings.
But their one-day form has been far less impressive, with England struggling to get into the knockout stages of this year`s World Cup in Asia before being well beaten by eventual finalists Sri Lanka.
And in October a one-day series in India saw England thrashed 5-0 by the 50-over world champions.
Pietersen said England`s inability, in contrast to the Test team, to find a settled one-day side was behind the Twenty20 world champions struggles in the 50-over format.
"We`ve used so many players, whether it be through injury or rest.”
"I`ve played seven years of one-day cricket for England, and it`s round about 35 players that we`ve used.”
"To get that consistency and roles in the team can be quite hard," he explained.
"Things didn`t go according to plan in India two months ago but we have made great strides in one-day cricket, certainly here (in England).”
"The World Cup was a tough one because it came at end of that long Australian trip. It is (England`s one-day record) something we are focused on improving."
Swann, writing in his Sun newspaper column in October, played down talk of a rift with the South Africa-born Pietersen.
"People have claimed my observation that KP is not a natural leader and should not have captained England has caused dressing-room divisions and a breakdown in team spirit.”
"Well, anybody who thinks that does not know this England team," Swann said.
"The reason we lost the one-day series 5-0 to India is because we`ve been outplayed in conditions which suit the home team."