Mohali:Two days after his pie-chucker comment about Yuvraj Singh, England captain Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday turned an admirer of the Indian left-hander, describing him as one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in world cricket.
Pietersen said he always felt a little chitchat is both good and natural when two strong characters battle it out playing for their countries.
All said and done, he said, Yuvraj is a phenomenal striker of the ball and he admired his six-hitting ability.
"It's been fun, little banter. At the end of the day, we are strong characters playing for our country. This kind of banter is enjoyable and fun. A bit of joke and fun doesn't do any harm. At the end of the day, you shake hands and I told what a fantastic innings he played," Pietersen said.
"The man is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in world cricket. The sixes this man can hit leave me dumbfounded. He is a special cricketer. Sometimes you have a bit of an argument, but that's all done and dusted. "And I gave you guys something to write about didn't I?" he quipped.
Pietersen had described Yuvraj as a pie-chucker, ridiculing his brand of part-time bowling. Yuvraj, on his part, cited the occasions he got the England captain out and said the England captain was useless for his repeated failures to get the better of his bowling.
Looking back at the series, Pietersen said he saw lot of positives even in the 1-0 defeat.
"Its not bad as some other defeats. We can take a lot of positives from the series. We came here with very little preparation for the series, coming into the series against such a great side," he said.
"India has played fantastic cricket at the moment, confident cricket and are on top of their game, especially at home. We gave ourselves good chance in Chennai, some good stuff on that Monday, but (Sachin) Tendulkar took it away from us."
"In this fixture we have fallen a bit short. We did a fantastic job by bowling so well yesterday afternoon. So not so many negatives but felt great to be back in India," he said.
Describing it as the toughest eight weeks in his captaincy career, Pietersen said, "Captaincy of any nation and in any sport is not an easy job. I had the knowledge that it is going to be very hard at times".
"Last two months have been pretty difficult but we look at positives and how tough it is. When good times come along, you enjoy a lot more. It has been the toughest 6-8 weeks of my career so far."
For Pietersen, the series against India has been a learning curve."I learnt a lot about individuals overseas. (Michael) Vaughan and Colly (Paul Collingwood) taught me that when you go away, you learn how individuals operate. It was a very, very interesting first two Tests away from home. I have learnt a lot over here.
"We played great cricket and India has played fantastic cricket. Unfortunately we came unstuck, we had a very good time out here. Everyone has been so hospitable and everything has gone according to plan," he said.