England captain Kevin Pietersen had nothing but praise for his team after they drew the second Test against India in Mohali, meaning they lost the series 1-0.
Pietersen Proud Of England Despite Series Loss
Kevin Pietersen gestures during India's second innings in Mohali.
©REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA) Picture Supplied by Action Images
"I am proud to be captain of a bunch of lads who have jumped on a plane to come here
and play some real good cricket," Pietersen said of the team decision to return to India in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.
"They have concentrated solely on their cricket, they have enjoyed their cricket, they have played with smiles on their faces. I couldn't ask for anything more," he added.
England were beaten by six wickets in Chennai when India chased down 387 to win and after conceding a 151-run first innings lead in Mohali, the destiny of the series was never in doubt, particularly with heavy fog curtailing playing time.
Pietersen, who scored a century in the first innings, said that losing two quick wickets late on day three which saw England close on 282 for six changed the game. "If we were four down going into day four, then we would have had a bit of an opportunity to get as close as we can and then make another fourth innings run chase," he said.
Pietersen also paid tribute to India, who have enjoyed a superb year in all forms of the game, not losing a Test series outside of India and beating Australia in November.
"I must congratulate the Indian team for a fantastic 12 months," Pietersen said. "They have played some fantastic cricket and I thank everybody for their hospitality - it has been brilliant."
England's next engagament is a tour to the Caribbean which begins in February. The squads for that tour will be announced on December 29th.
© Cricket World 2008