Pietersen hails positive approach
Kevin Pietersen has found consolation in England's Test series defeat by highlighting the positive style of play which he hopes will end their wait for an international victory this winter.
The tense draw in the final Test at the Queen’s Park Oval condemned England to a 1-0 series defeat, having arrived in the Caribbean as strong favourites to retain the Wisden Trophy.
Since leaving for India last November, England have not won a single international match but the manner in which they pushed for victory in the final Test against West Indies has persuaded former captain Pietersen they can end that run in the forthcoming one-day series.
"I love the way we played the last Test match," enthused Pietersen, who hit a brilliant 102 off 92 balls on the final day to set up a tense finale. West Indies hung on to prevent England claiming a series-levelling victory.
"I enjoyed the way we batted and I enjoyed the way we attacked with our bowlers. I really liked the way we played over the last five days.
"We played some positive cricket and that is the way I like to play my cricket and that is the way I would have played this series if I had been skipper."
That attacking approach will need to continue when England begin the limited-overs leg of their Caribbean tour, which begins with a Twenty20 international on Sunday before a five-match one-day series.
But Pietersen believes the participation of England's players in the Indian Premier League, which begins on April 10, could also be crucial if they want to develop their one-day skills to challenge the best sides in the world.
"We have to take it (the positive approach) into the one-day series," stressed Pietersen. "India are taking one-day cricket to a different level.
"Have you seen the way they are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year - India are on a different level."
Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah are all due to play lucrative week stints in the IPL as soon as the one-day series is finished and Pietersen is adamant that increased exposure to the IPL is the only way they are going to improve sufficiently to match the skills of India's players.
"We've got to find a way to get up there," he said. "I just think the reason why India have gone through the roof is because of the Indian Premier League and after missing out last year, there is no way we can get up there if we don't play.
"It is important for our players to learn how to hit fours and sixes. You can do that in Twenty20 cricket and you can practise it. You must practise it in order to play it.
"In the middle when you try to play like that you have to know you've practised it, and Twenty20 is a boundary-fest. They have taken the game to a new level because of the IPL and I think the players recognise that."
Pietersen and the other England players are taking advice from security consultant Reg Dickason before they commit to going to the IPL, but none have made a definitive decision and are waiting for further information about security.
"I've just got an e-mail about security there and I'm going to follow it up over the next couple of days," said Pietersen. "They are still gathering all the information.
"I definitely want to play Twenty20 cricket and in the IPL. I'm taking advice from Reg and from Bob Nicholls, who is the security consultant and is a mate of mine; also from my manager and one or two other options."
Before any decisions have to be made on IPL participation, however, Pietersen and the rest of England's one-day squad are determined to salvage at least one victory from their Caribbean tour.
They face a 50-over warm-up match against the President's XI at Pointe-a-Pierre today before returning to the Queen's Park Oval for the Twenty20 international.
"I think we're going to have to go out there with an aggressive approach because we haven't won a game this whole winter," added Pietersen.
"We've got to go out there swinging and playing some good positive cricket. We're going to have to do something because I'm not sure I want to be here another month if we don't win a game."