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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 10:09 UK

Pietersen expects less SA abuse

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen's summer was badly affected by Achilles complications

Kevin Pietersen feels he has earned the respect of South African cricket fans and does not expect the same level of abuse he suffered on tour in 2005.

The South Africa-born England batsman has been named in the squad that will arrive in his homeland in November.

And Pietersen, who is recovering from Achilles injury said: "It was extremely abusive, mum and dad were very upset.

"But I don't expect it to be as bad this time. I think people in South Africa respect me for what I've done."

In early 2005, Pietersen was making his way in international cricket - and was not yet part of the Test squad - when he appeared in the one-day series in South Africa.

The experience was a personal triumph, as he chalked up an astonishing three centuries, though England were beaten in the series.

But Pietersen told The Independent newspaper that the series had not brought any "fond memories".

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise for me to be injured and away from everything so I could try to get my hunger back, because it certainly was dwindling

Kevin Pietersen

And he expects to still take some stick from the fans in South Africa this time, though he notes that there are others in the squad who will cop the flak along with him during a two-and-a-half month tour that features four Tests in December and January after five one-day internationals.

"[Andrew] Strauss is South African, [Matt] Prior is South African, so is Jonathan Trott, so it won't just be me," he said.

"But I take [the abuse] as a compliment, the same as Ricky Ponting does when he comes here. I enjoy it, actually."

Pietersen, 29, played in the first two Ashes Tests during the summer of this year but has been sidelined since then following Achilles surgery, and further complications during his recovery period.

It has been a tough year for him, which began when he lost the England captaincy after expressing doubts about coach Peter Moores to the England hierarchy.

There followed a tour of the Caribbean, with Andrew Strauss and new coach Andy Flower in control, when Pietersen found it difficult to slip back into the ranks.

He said: "It was frustrating. I put into writing all my suggestions, as I was asked to, and Strauss has got the benefit of all that.


"I've just had to watch it unfold this summer, which has been extremely hard for me, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise for me to be injured and away from everything so I could try to get my hunger back, because it certainly was dwindling."

Pietersen said the relationship between Strauss and current team director Andy Flower was far more effective than his own partnership with Moores had been.

"He has a coach he can work with. I never had that. I didn't have the power or authority to run the team.

"I loved it, I enjoyed [captaincy], but now I leave it to Strauss, who's doing such a great job. Mentally I've left it. I respect Strauss too much to talk about the captaincy."

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see also
England omit Harmison for SA tour
08 Oct 09 |  England
Pietersen hit by injury setback
11 Aug 09 |  England
Pietersen denied return from tour
29 Mar 09 |  England
Pietersen insists he is blameless
11 Jan 09 |  England
Kevin Pietersen career photos
08 Jan 09 |  Cricket
England claim historic series win
25 Jan 05 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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