The top 5 things on the minds of England cricketers

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 03, 2012 08:59 hrs

Making sure that the 'Kevin Pietersen situation' stays low-key is one of the five things riding the minds of the England cricket players touring India, as further distractions are the last thing they need while they prepare for their three-month long tour.

While many English cricketers have been going on about how 'seamlessly' the controversial cricketer has reintegrated himself into the Three Lions squad, Pietersen's presence around the England camp has been a hush-hush affair and the players and management will, no doubt, want to keep it that way.

The second concern for the England team is if Steve Finn's injury doesn't clear up, as if he is to play in the first Test, he must get fit in time to feature in the final four- day warm-up match in Ahmedabad, which starts on the November 15, The Guardian reports.

According to the paper, the third major concern for England is who will partner Alastair Cook. While Nick Compton seems to be the preferred choice to open the batting with Cook in Ahmedabad, after he made a three-ball duck against India A, their decision-making may be clouded if the Somerset batsman doesn't score runs in the second warm-up match.

The fourth issue is getting Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell to spend meaningful time in the middle against India as they had earlier fallen to the part-time spin of Yuvraj Singh against India A, when Bell made just five off six balls while Pietersen scored 23 off 24 balls.

The last but not the least concern is 'knocking over the lower order'. England's bowlers have suffered before, when the hard work has been done up front but then the ball goes soft and the wicket flattens out, so therefore, in an ideal world, they would need to put their foot on the throat and keep it there, the paper said.

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