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Pietersen will come to boil - Cook

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Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook said Kevin Pietersen's "work ethic over those 12 months has been the hardest I’ve seen him work at his game"

Alastair Cook is convinced all the hard work is about to pay off for Kevin Pietersen as the right-hander bids to rediscover his best form in the Ashes.

Pietersen’s attempts to end his low-scoring run took him to a loan spell at Surrey - after being left out of England’s NatWest Series squad to take on Pakistan - and then back to his native South Africa for two first-class matches with Kwazulu Natal, before travelling to Australia.

The 30-year-old’s endeavour met with limited success in terms of runs scored, but Cook believes England’s key middle order batsman is about to prove the doubters wrong in the biggest series of all.

“He’s obviously had a difficult 12 months with his form,” Cook conceded, fresh from a light training session by the Swan river on England’s first full day in Australia.

“But his work ethic over those 12 months has been the hardest I’ve seen him work at his game.”

Andrew Strauss’ team are hoping to be the first to beat Australia in the Ashes Down Under in almost a quarter-of-a-century.

To do so, they will surely need Pietersen back nearer the 50-plus average he established and maintained throughout much of his Test career.

Cook senses his team-mate’s meticulous preparations, and the Ashes stage, make him a sure source of runs this winter.

“With talent like that and the stats he’s got behind him, it shows what a great player he is,” added England’s vice-captain.

“Great players might lose their form for a little bit. But they come back, and a big series like this is just about the right time for him to come back.

“I know he’s desperate to prove to people that he’s still a great player.”

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