Pietersen promises return to form

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/K/Kevinpietersen.jpg' class='caption'> Kevin Pietersen insists he is not far off the form that saw him launch his Test career in spectacular style against Australia.

Updated: August 05, 2010 16:04 IST
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England batsman Kevin Pietersen has conceded he needs a big score but insists he is not far off the form that saw him launch his Test career in spectacular style against Australia in 2005.

Pietersen has gone 22 Test innings without a century heading into the second of England's four-match series against Pakistan starting at Edgbaston here on Friday.

The 30-year-old, whose unbeaten 158 at The Oval five years ago helped England regain the Ashes, has recently had to deal with questions about his place in the side for the first time in an otherwise stellar career.

"I'm anxious and keen to get a big score because I know there are a lot of people out there who want to see me score runs and that is what I'm working towards," Pietersen told the Daily Mirror.

"I speak regularly to (England coach) Andy Flower about my batting and we both think I am close to getting back to how I was in 2005.

"It's just not happening for me at the moment so I need to get my head down," the South Africa-born batsman added.

It was only in April that Pietersen was named player of the tournament as England won the World Twenty20 in the West Indies.

"I was in great touch in the Caribbean and I believe I was back to my best, but I just need a score and hopefully people will be patient with me," Pietersen said.

England have won their last five Tests and in those matches Pietersen has had an impressive average of 53.

However, he added: "I've probably made a bit of a rod for my own back by having the start to Test cricket that I did.

"There is no critic greater than me. Before the press make their comments next day and before the commentators batter me on the mikes, I've battered myself," Pietersen insisted.

And England captain Andrew Strauss believes it's just a matter of time before Pietersen is back in the runs again.

"KP has had a bit of a dip but players of that quality will always come through and I've got absolutely no doubt he will come through this," Strauss told reporters at Edgbaston on Thursday.

"It's just a case of when," the opening batsman added.

"He's in a good place mentally, he's been really buoyant this week. He's putting the hard work in and the results will come. Let's hope it's this week."

England, who thrashed Pakistan by 354 runs in the first Test at Trent Bridge last week, also have concerns over Strauss's opening partner Alastair Cook.

The Essex left-hander has made only 79 runs in five innings since his 109 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

"As far as Cookie goes, it was only three or four Tests ago he was scoring a hundred against Bangladesh and playing very well in South Africa as well," said Strauss.

"You've got to take a slightly long-term view on batters. People will have a bad Test or a couple of Tests. I've got no concerns about his form at all."

Swing proved Pakistan's undoing at Trent Bridge, with James Anderson taking a match-best 11 wickets for 71 runs and Strauss predicted more of the same at Edgbaston, where the stands at what was the Pavilion End are being rebuilt.

"Here more than Nottingham overhead conditions play a massive part," Strauss said of an Edgbaston ground where England have won 22 out off 44 Tests with eight defeats and 14 draws.

"If it's overcast you are going to get a fair amount of swing, if not it's going to be a good pitch to bat on."

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