Top-scorer Pietersen tells of nightmare 18 months

Birmingham: Kevin Pietersen ground his way to a fortuitous 80 that helped put England in command of the second Test against Pakistan on Saturday and then told of a personal crisis in which he has struggled for runs and to re-adjust to the ranks after losing the captaincy.

Pietersen was dropped three times and survived being controversially caught off a dead ball but his runs still gave England a crucial first innings lead of 179 – 160 at stumps.

Pietersen was satisfied to be back among the runs having endured some tough times recently, even though he missed a clear opportunity to register his first Test century in 23 innings by offering off-spinner Saeed Ajmal a return catch.

Pietersen lost the captaincy of the England team 18 months ago in controversial circumstances following a public fallout with former coach Peter Moores, underwent Achilles surgery a year ago that kept him out of the Ashes series and then averaged just 24 on the tour of his native South Africa.

“Obviously I haven’t been scoring the big hundreds I did in my first 50-odd Tests. But it’s not as if I haven’t been scoring runs,” Pietersen told reporters.

“It’s a case of getting back to the drawing board and keep working just as hard when things are tough -- because just round the corner, there’s a new knock.”

“You go from captaining the team to being one of the men again,” he added.

“Being told what to do all day every day is something that was hard, in the way that everything happened 18 months ago.

“Then I got injured and had a bad tour of South Africa -- I was playing really badly there -- so it’s not been ideal, the last 18 months.

“When you’re battling to get runs you focus really hard and I was really in the zone over the last couple of days -- trying to make a big score. I try to fight every single day I play. I always give of my best.”

Bureau Report

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