Pietersen puts past behind him

India England
Kevin Pietersen & Andrew Flintoff

Kevin Pietersen will rely on senior players like Andrew Flintoff to help lead the way

Kevin Pietersen has issued strict "no excuses" instructions to England as they move on from security issues and focus on the major task of winning a Test series in India.

Since being appointed as captain last August, Pietersen has been forced to deal with several issues away from cricket, including the vast riches at stake for the Stanford 20/20 for 20.

But his biggest test yet has been over the last 10 days when he has successfully rallied his team and persuaded them to return to India for a two-Test series in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

Few would blame England if they were badly beaten in the series, which begins on Thursday, after their preparation was severely disrupted by a spell at home considering the security implications of their return.

Pietersen, though, sets high standards and when he leads his team out for the start of the series, he will not accept any excuses from them if they struggle against India's in-form line-up.

"You could say we can't lose in this situation, but that's also a way of looking at things negatively and finding excuses - I don't want any excuses about what has happened," said Pietersen.

"There is to be no nonsense said about what has happened. I told the boys this morning that it's a case of coming to this Test match series like it would be in England.

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"We travelled on Monday, we'll practise on Tuesday and Wednesday and play on Thursday.

"What has happened has happened and we can't control it, but we're in a very privileged position to be playing Test match cricket in India and we've got to deal with it in a professional manner."

But Pietersen believes it is a situation England may have to become accustomed to in the years ahead if they are going to continue touring on the sub-continent, no matter how oppressive it may seem.

"Whatever was said to us has happened," he said. "For the rest of my career, probably, that's what's going to happen now for future tours to the sub-continent - we're just going to have to deal with it and play the cricket.

"It can be stifling to a certain degree, but our primary focus and goal now as international cricketers and sportsmen is to try and win a Test series.

"We've got to chuck everything away that's happened, create this little bubble that we've got here and go and perform."

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