Former skipper Kevin Pietersen is not satisfied with England’s number one Test ranking and said he wants his team to have more killer instinct like the recent all-conquering Australian teams and the West Indies team of the 1980s.
“When the great Australian and West Indian teams played for years and years they killed opposition,” said Pietersen.
“I played against that Australian team in 2006 in Australia; I promise you now, every day’s play of those Test matches you weren’t looking forward to it – because you knew you were going to get dealt with. That’s what I hope we can do to opposition, but it’s going to be tough.”
“That’s what I hope we can do to opposition, but it’s going to be tough. We need to concentrate on doing what we do because what we have is very special, so there is no way we’re going to rest on our laurels,” he added.
Pietersen wants to start by completing England’s own whitewash, of India in the fourth and final Test of the series at The Kia Oval next week.
“The whitewash is now a target and a huge target because I played against Australia when we did get hammered and it’s a horrible place to be. So if we can inflict a similar defeat on India it would be amazing for us,” Pietersen said.
He has no doubt England have all the talent and motivation required to stay ahead of the rest.
“The team department is absolutely amazing, and all we need to do is continue that and not let it get affected by anything that happens or any success that is achieved.
“I think we’ve proved that by winning in Australia (last winter) and then coming back to England and beating India in England.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of hard work we”ve still got to put in, and the good thing about this team is we’ll put that in.
“We’ve got a real good structure in place and great people in place as well; the management and players – there’s a lot of mature players.
“You look at the number of games people have played, you look at the number of hundreds we’ve scored, look at the wickets the boys have started to take.
“We actually look like one of the senior teams in world cricket right now – whereas two, three, four, five years ago there were a couple of players who were experienced but we had a lot of inexperience too. So I think we’ve got all departments covered.
“You look at that engine room – (from) Matty Prior down to number 10, those guys there can score 150 runs and take the game away from you – we’ve seen it a couple of times already in this series.
“If we get ourselves into a bit of a hole at 120 for five or 80 for five we can still get 250-300 – and then back our bowlers to do the business.”
There is a fine line between confidence and complacency, and Pietersen is convinced England are striking the perfect balance.
“I think you’ve got a lot of experience and you’ve got guys who – it’s wrong to say are certain of their places – but have done enough in this team to be sure of their own games,” he said.
“They warrant being selected through a bad run of form, to keep getting the backing of selectors because they have done so well over the last however many years.
“When you have that confidence behind you as a player, you’re not so worried about your place; you’re really, really worried about doing your job well – and also if someone else does well, there’s no jealousy.”
“If Cooky does well like he did yesterday, it’s absolutely amazing and you can feel it from me as a person to him, he knows I’m really ecstatic. When I hit a double hundred two weeks ago I knew that everybody in that dressing-room was so happy for me. Belly at Nottingham, we know that everyone is so happy. Bressie when he comes in, Broady turning games around this series as well, we’re all personally so happy because we’re not worried about our own jobs.”