Panesar denies rift in England dressing room

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> England spinner Monty Panesar admitted England were not positive under Kevin Pietersen during their India tour but denied there was any split.

Updated: January 09, 2009 17:18 IST
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England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar on Friday admitted England were not positive under Kevin Pietersen during their Test series in India but denied there was any split in the dressing room.

Panesar said the atmosphere had changed from what it was during the series against South Africa in September, when Pietersen debuted as captain.

"When we won the Test against South Africa at The Oval, which was Kevin Pietersen's debut as captain, everything was very upbeat and positive," Panesar said.

"But when I came back into the Test team out in India, something had changed. It felt like something was missing. There just wasn't the same buzz or vibe around. It felt flat compared to the atmosphere during that Oval match. We just didn't feel as together or connected in India," he was quoted as saying in the England media.

Pietersen's resignation along with the sacking of coach Peter Moores triggered media reports that there was a split in the England dressing room but Panesar said the team had groups but it was not divided.

"I've heard people saying there are cliques in this England squad, but that isn't true. Of course there are various groups, but it would be wrong to call them factions or cliques.

"If there were cliques they would have come out by now. Everyone has their own group of friends, but the word 'cliques' suggests we can't work as a united team and we can," he said.

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