Positive Pietersen in bullish mood
Kevin Pietersen has warned Sri Lanka he feels back to his best ahead of the first npower Test of the summer at the SWALEC Stadium.
After recovering from the hernia injury which forced him to make a premature exit from the World Cup, Pietersen is confident he can once again make a significant impression in the international arena.
The flamboyant batsman endured a prolonged dip in form prior to last winter’s Ashes, but silenced his critics in emphatic fashion with a spectacular 227 in the second Test at Adelaide to help England to an historic series triumph Down Under.
Ahead of Thursday’s series-opener against Sri Lanka in Cardiff, Pietersen told ecb.co.uk: “I’m really enjoying playing again and I just want to score run after run after run.
“I went away to South Africa in September last year to go and work on my game and to get everything back. Since being there, it was no surprise that I got my highest score and a man of the match in Adelaide and I’ve just loved doing what I’m doing.
“I’m in a really good head-space. I just want to go out there and be the confident player that I’ve always been and get back to scoring lots of runs for England.”
Pietersen refuses to underestimate the challenge posed by Sri Lanka, who have often struggled to find their best form away from the sub-continent.
“They have got some fantastic players, both batters and bowlers, and they are a very good fielding side as well as we saw in the World Cup,” he added.
“So they are definitely going to ask all our departments some real good questions and we’re going to have to play consistently good cricket.
“We don’t take anybody for granted. We don’t rest on our laurels. We want to improve and if we play cricket like we played in Australia then we should win.”
With India providing the opposition later in the summer, England know they will have to perform well if they are to move closer to their goal of becoming the number one ranked team in Test cricket.
Pietersen is determined to play a part in guiding England to that particular landmark, but is wary of looking too far ahead.
“At the end of the day we want to win every game we play and that’s how we try and play our cricket,” he explained.
“I’m just looking forward to the summer really getting going now.”