SYDNEY, (Reuters) – England’s Kevin Pietersen believes he is hitting his best form just at the right time with the Ashes series against Australia just a couple of weeks away.
The mercurial South African-born batsman was dropped by England for the Twenty20 and one-day series against Pakistan in September after a poor run of form.
A spell playing back in South Africa had rejuvenated him, Pietersen said after top-scoring with 58 in England’s first innings in the three-day tour match against Western Australia in Perth.
“I’ve never really been a technical player. I play like a clown,” Pietersen, who added a quickfire 35 in 22 balls in the successful run-chase for victory on Sunday, told England’s website (www.ecb.co.uk).
“It’s just my mental approach that I needed to change, just get a load of confidence back, and I’m on fire at the moment. “I’m looking forward now, I’m not interested in what’s gone. I’m very happy with what’s happening at the moment.
“I came back from South Africa for a couple of weeks, and I feel top drawer again,” the 30-year-old added. “I hope there’s plenty more to come this winter.”
An in-form Pietersen would be a massive boost to England’s bid to win a first Ashes series in Australia since 1986-87 and successfully defend the tiny urn.
“I love playing in Australia,” he said. “I had some really good success here personally last time.
“I got 500 runs at (an average of) 55 but I’d take 350 and an Ashes victory, that’s for sure.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate to play three Ashes, and won two of them. I’d love to go three-four. We’ve got a very, very good unit at the moment — very happy in all our roles in the team.”
Skipper Andrew Strauss was also in impressive form yesterday with an unbeaten 120 as England cruised to a six-wicket victory.
“My first win in Aussie,” Pietersen posted on Twitter after the win. “Got a great feeling about our team!! Bowlers were world class today on a flat wicket!! And batters did the job.”
England play another three-day match against South Australia in Adelaide and a four-dayer against Australia A in Hobart before their Ashes defence begins in Brisbane on Nov. 25.