London: England batsman Kevin Pietersen`s poor form since his last Test hundred in March 2009 has been unfathomable to connoisseurs of the sport. From being regarded as the team`s most talented batsman, KP has stuttered and stalled, lost panache at the crease, and has been painful to watch, but now he is relishing the prospect of making a change against the old enemy-Australia.
Pietersen has accepted this and is remarkably candid about his lack in confidence.
Towards the end of a long English season, Pietersen was kicking his heels as his team-mates edged a dramatic one-day series victory over Pakistan. He raged about the situation on Twitter only to be disciplined and fined.
"I was mortified, absolutely mortified. It was one of the things that hurt me most about anything." The message was, he maintains, supposed to be sent privately to a friend, but he posted it publicly by accident, a plausible error.
The first sign of trouble, he says, was a slew of quizzical responses from friends.
Mistake or not, that accidental tweet did offer a heartening glimpse at KP`s pride and motivation.
Pietersen says unfazed by the negative coverage of his Hampshire departure.
Pietersen told the Guardian that a spell away from the England dressing room, analysing his own playing, has been beneficial and "very refreshing".
He says that he has found things he needs to fix?
"Technically no, mentally yes. It`s the standards that I`ve set that probably haven`t helped me, unfortunately." Then, with unexpected humility: "But I`ll get back there, hopefully."
The hope of English cricket fans is that this will happen in time for the first Ashes Test, which starts in Brisbane in 10 days` time.
"I think we`re more of a team and we all want each other to do well," he says, decisively.