Pietersen says Cook an inspiration

Dubai: Senior batsman Kevin Pietersen on Friday praised one-day captain Alastair Cook for the successive one-day hundreds that gave England an unassailable 2-0 lead against Pakistan in their four-match series.

Cook hit 137 and 102 in the two wins in Abu Dhabi and England will look to wrap up the series in the last two matches here on Saturday and Tuesday.

Pietersen said it was a good turnaround after losing the preceding Test series 3-0.

"It`s been a really good turnaround after the Test matches," said Pietersen, who flopped in the Tests with just 67 runs.

"The team have done really well. Cook and Ravi (Bopara) have done a brilliant job, and (Steven) Finn has been remarkable."

Paceman Finn finished with identical figures of 4-34 in both games to give England wins by 130 and 20 runs respectively.

Pietersen said Cook had stood up to the mark since being made captain last year.

"Cooky`s such a good player, who is fulfilling his role in the team really, really well. You can`t complain when you get two hundreds in successive games."

On his own form, Pietersen said he was trying his best to score with the help of coach Andy Flower after being used as opener in the one-dayers.

"Andy`s a great believer, and the team realise, that not every single person in the team is always going to be on form -- and a few of us haven`t been in the best nick," Pietersen said.

"But dovetailing is a word Andy has used a lot over the last few years, since he`s come into the job, and you need that. That`s why we`ve done so well."

"We were fortunate to have a lot of players in a lot of good form over the last 18 months, and then quite a few who have struggled on this trip.

"But the dovetailing in the one-day team has certainly been there, and it`s proven by the way we`ve played in the last couple of games."

Pietersen was irked, however, when asked about his Indian Premier League (IPL) stint with Delhi Daredevils, whose shirt was presented to him here on Thursday.

"I don`t know why you need to keep asking the question," he said.

"I`m here playing for England, I love playing for England. England gives me the opportunities to sign with Delhi. Why would I give anything up? I`m totally committed to England."

The IPL starts in India on April 4.

Asked if he would like to continue to open the innings in one-day matches, Pietersen said: "We`ve talked it over. I`d like it to be permanent, Andy wants it to be permanent, Cooky wants it to be permanent. You look at it and just think `Why can`t I do it?`

"I`ve batted four in England, but why can`t I do it in the one-day format at the top of the order? It`s something that I`m looking forward to as a challenge."

Dubai`s worst sandstorm for six years spoiled the teams` early practice on Friday. The storm may also affect Saturday`s match.