Pietersen says England team better equipped than in 2005

Kevin Pietersen believes the current England team are better equipped to rule the world than the team who...

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen plays a shot at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on 27 February 2011. Picture: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP

Kevin Pietersen believes the current England team are better equipped to rule the world than the team who defeated the all-conquering Australians in 2005.

England surged to the top of the world rankings on Saturday with a thumping innings and 242 run victory over previous world leaders India in the third test.

"We've got a real good structure in place and great people in place as well, the management and players, there are a lot of mature players," Pietersen, who made his debut in the 2005 series, told reporters on Sunday.

"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.

"So I think we've got all departments covered and as long as each individual, including the guys in the squad who aren't playing at the moment, keep striving to get better we'll be okay."

The team captained by Michael Vaughan in 2005 threatened to climb the rankings after that 2-1 series win but injuries or illness to key players including Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick, Simon Jones and Ashley Giles wrecked any hope of progress.

Pietersen was full of enthusiasm for the current squad's drive to continually seek to improve. He also said the team's burning ambition was to seal a 4-0 series win when the fourth test starts at the Oval on Thursday.

"It's a target, a huge target because I played against Australia when we did get hammered 5-0 (in 2006-07) and it's a horrible to place to be," Pietersen added. "So if we can inflict a similar defeat on India it would be amazing for us."

Coach Andy Flower said the present England team did not compare to the West Indies' side who did not lose a test series from 1980-95 or the Australian team who twice won 16 consecutive tests, from 1999-2001 and then 2005-2007. Andrew Strauss' team have won six consecutive series to date.

"We are a good side there is no doubt about that," former Zimbabwe batsman Flower said. "(But) I don't think we can compare ourselves to those sides to be quite honest.

"They dominated world cricket for lengthy periods. We have been playing well for a little while now but only for a short time in cricketing history terms. There is no way we can compare ourselves to those sides in my opinion.

"Who knows what the future holds though? That is going to be up to us. It is up to us to deliver excellence and be hungry enough to keep driving ourselves hard enough to deliver that excellence. Time will tell."