|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 7th July 2009
England star batsman Kevin Pietersen said that England can win the Ashes even if he does not have a great series.
The right-hander is being seen as one of England's major trumpcards for the Ashes campaign, which gets under way with the first npower Test in Cardiff on July 8.
But Pietersen shrugged off the weight of expectations saying the success of the other members of England's top order in the last year is evidence enough of the fact that the side is not totally reliant on his gifts and can triumph even without a major contribution from him.
"I think the media makes the weight of expectation far greater than it actually is," said Pietersen. "In the dressing room I'm just as important as anyone else.
"There's no great expectation on me in the England dressing room. There's a lot of stuff from outside but we all know over the last 12 months that (Andrew) Strauss has got hundreds, (Alastair) Cook has turned his 50s into hundreds now, (Paul) Collingwood's got hundreds, (Ravi) Bopara's got three in a row and (Matt) Prior's got runs.
"We've all got runs so I don't think it's as big an issue as everybody talks about. I have the confidence that the guys in the dressing room will perform. If I have a bad series England can still win."
Pietersen has seen both the high's and low's of Ashes. He helped England secure victory in 2005 with a brilliant 158 at The Oval and then was a part part of the side humiliated by a 5-0 whitewash down under in 2006-7.
He said that this experience of understanding the fact that fevered excitement surrounding both teams can undermine efforts on the pitch has taught him to be calm in any and all situations.
"I've played in two (Ashes series) now and I've been in England for the last four or five, and I witnessed one when I was out in Australia," said Pietersen.
"As a cricketer you obviously understand the rivalry but if you try to make it out to be bigger than it is, you can get yourself into a bit of a tizz. You can put too much pressure on yourself and turn it into something that it's not.
"It's a game of cricket between two teams that want to win, the same as if we play South Africa and the same as we play every week. The simpler you try to keep each game, each session and each ball the better and more equipped you are to be successful."
"I look back at history and what's happened in the past in a positive way and I also take the stuff in the past that's been negative and try to turn it into a positive.
"I will look at both series I've played in and I will be motivated in a lot of different ways to counter what the Aussies have for us this summer."