Mohali:Amused with the sobriquets he received from Kevin Pietersen, star Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh on Monday returned the compliment and said if he is a pie-chucker then the England captain is a useless batsman. Yuvraj walked into the press conference room himself announcing "pie-chucker is coming".
Insisting that he loved the nickname, the left-hander said, "I got up in the morning and read the paper and thought what does that mean? It means useless bowler."
Not to take it lying down, Yuvraj cited the occasions when he got Pietersen out and said, "It means KP is getting out to me and useless bowler getting a batsman out five times means useless batting, I must say."
On a more serious tone, Yuvraj said he had enough respect for the England captain.
"It's okay, he is a phenomenal player and batted like a champion. He has 15 hundreds in 45 Tests. Actually, he tried to get under my skin and brought out the best in me and I tried to get under his skin and brought out the best in him. It's okay, but I don't like to wash dirty linen in public," Yuvraj said.
Asked about Pietersen as bowler, Yuvraj quipped, "I have got a better action than KP, his action is useless. But if he works hard he can be a good bowler... I can give him some tips and teach how to bowl in the rough."
On whether he considered Pietersen as his bunny, having got him on so many occasions, Yuvraj said, "I got him out five times now, three times in the last ODI series and this time twice. When you play so much cricket, you are bound to get out to someone but he hates my bowling."
Yuvraj has been a red rag for the Englishmen who always seem trying to get under his skin. The dashing left-hander traced it back to the Twenty20 World Cup in which he thrashed England, including hitting six sixes off a Stuart Broad over.
"I think its because of an old relation between India and England since Twenty20 World Cup. They want to get me out as quickly as possible and that's why chat comes my way," he explained.
Overall, Yuvraj felt chatting could work both ways and claimed he was friends with Pietersen off the field. "Sometimes it fire me up and sometimes it backfires.
Chatting makes me stronger and focused and I look forward to it all the time and look forward to the challenge. Its a mixed bag of feelings inside. But at the end of the day, everything is on the ground.
"Me and KP are good friends off the field, but on the field never dare to make friends."
"It backfired in the first innings in Chennai, but fired me up in the next innings. It's all healthy competition and no bad mouthing. Both the teams are trying to push the opposition," he explained.
Personally, the series against England has been a Test comeback for him even though Yuvraj insisted he never doubted he cannot shine in the longer format.
"I never think that I don't belong to this arena. I have three Test hundreds and it's not fluke. Its only media speculation. I know if I work hard and stay in the middle the runs will come," he said.
On the match, Yuvraj said weather would hold the key on Tuesday and lot would depend on how much play is possible on the final day.
"It all depends on weather tomorrow. If the weather is good, we can get more time to post a good total and more time to bowl them out. Any target is tough to get on the last day. 387 was a tough target (in Chennai) and we'll set a target tough for them," he added.