The South Africa-born batsman was greeted with a barrage of tabloid criticism after arriving in Brisbane, venue for the first Ashes Test starting Thursday.
     
Pietersen told a news conference he enjoys the lively and combative cricket coverage but said his confidence has been confused with arrogance.
     
Pietersen says "I've got to be confident in my ability. As a South African coming to England, I had to really fight some tough battles and had to be single minded in achieving what I've had to achieve -- I can't help people thinking I'm arrogant."
     
The 33-year-old Pietersen made his Test debut in England's Ashes-winning series in 2005.

Australia to gamble on Shane Watson’s enigma

Resource-rich Australia has rarely shied away from a calculated gamble in a promising asset, but the continued investment in the all-round talents of Shane Watson will come under heavy scrutiny in the upcoming Ashes series.
               
Australia's selectors have forever plunged on the barrel-chested Queenslander, convinced a long-awaited dividend will finally be paid out.
               
Their loyalty has been largely unrewarded, with Watson's 46 tests producing a paltry yield of three centuries and a litany of team-disrupting injuries.
               
Yet the enigmatic 32-year-old remains a prized commodity, a handy pace bowler capable of both tying up an end with stingy line and length, and clinching a timely wicket to break up a stubborn partnership.
               
A fit and firing Watson batting and bowling in the same test match is a comforting sight for Australia's cricket fans.
               
It has also become an increasingly a rare one. Problematic calves and hamstrings have sidelined the burly blonde from test matches in Australia's last two home summers and he missed the entire Ashes series in 2006-07.
               
His physical frailty has overshadowed the team's preparations again in the leadup to the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Nov. 21, after he suffered a hamstring strain in a one-day international in India.
               
While Watson scrambles to be fit for the Gabba, anxiety over his role in the team, where he should bat, whether he should bowl at all, continues to haunt Australia.

(Agencies)

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