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Pietersen: Same old negative stuff won't kid fans

ESPN staff
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Pietersen was sacked after the Ashes defeat during the winter © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen claims the underlying fear of failure within the England dressing room means they are struggling to put the bane of an inimical winter behind them.

Peter Moores' side suffered a first home defeat to Sri Lanka as they lost the second Test at Headingley this week and Pietersen, writing in his column for The Daily Telegraph, believes the negative tactics adopted by the management and captain Alastair Cook can no longer deceive the public.

"You can only kid the public for so long. If you tell them this is a brave new dawn, that the team will play an aggressive brand of cricket and try to be positive, but then play the same old negative stuff, the supporters will soon turn away from the team in droves," Pietersen said.

Cook's methods, in particular, have come under the spotlight and Pietersen, a former team-mate, claims the under fire captain is like "a rabbit caught in the headlights."

"Cook's form will be affecting him," Pietersen said. "I have played with Cooky long enough to know that when that happens he becomes very quiet and introverted. He struggles to handle it. We have all been through it and it does play on your mind.

"Captaining the side without any runs plays on your mind too. I saw in Cook at Headingley the same look Andrew Strauss had when he played his last Test at Lord's. He was a rabbit in the headlights. It was a shame to see Cooky looking that way."

Despite the appointment of Moores for a second spell in charge and the much-heralded dawn of a new era, Pietersen insists an underlying feeling of discontent remains in the dressing room. The conservative mannerisms stem from a continued "fear of failure" as the demons of Australia are yet to be banished, according to Pietersen, who was a victim of the fiasco Down Under.

"England were in winning positions in both matches but blew it, and I believe that is a symptom of the senior players being very unsettled. They are not turning up for the captain or coach.

"[Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson looked jaded at Headingley. Why? Why was Jimmy so emotional? We have lost a lot of matches in the past but he has never shown such emotion. He has been through tougher times and suffered lower moments but never been in tears before.

"It says to me there is an underlying current of unhappiness. The Australia tour was hard. We were beaten up due to a lot of reasons I cannot go into right now, and some of the senior players are still suffering, with the result that they are struggling to offer leadership in the dressing room."

The ECB have decided to give the Test squad a rest ahead of the series against India. The tourists have, this week, arrived in the country in preparation for the five-game contest which begins at Trent Bridge on July 9.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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