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Pietersen 'practically 100 per cent fit'

Agencies

Posted: Jun 26, 2009 at 1311 hrs IST
      

London: Kevin Pietersen did his best to allay concerns over his troublesome Achilles injury ahead of the Ashes by declaring himself "practically 100 per cent fit".

The former England captain is widely regarded as crucial to the home side's hopes of regaining the Ashes from Australia.

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne, who was Pietersen's county captain at Hampshire, went even further by saying on Wednesday that England had no chance without the South Africa born star batsman.

"The one person England have to have is Kevin Pietersen," said Warne, who retired from Test cricket after Australia's thumping 5-0 Ashes series win on home soil in 2006-07.

"If England haven't got Pietersen I don't believe they can win. He's just a wonderful player."

Pietersen warned recently that if his injury, which was originally sustained during England's tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, flared up on the morning of a Test he would be ruled out.

But, speaking to Sky Sports yesterday, he said: "I am nursing my injury at the moment, getting myself right. I'm practically 100 per cent fit so I don't want any setbacks. It's real good news, I've been rehabbing every single day since the injury. The last couple of weeks I've done quite a lot of work so, fingers crossed, I am going to be pretty good for the whole summer."

Looking ahead to the current Ashes series, Pietersen added: "I don't think it's a case of revenge, I think it's a case of going out there and playing positive cricket and backing the lads that we've got in the dressing room."

England's most recent Test series saw them overwhelm a lacklustre and demotivated West Indies 2-0 in early season English conditions.

Otherwise, England's Test form of late has been nothing to write home about. Nevertheless, the ever-confident Pietersen said: "The vibe in the dressing room is fantastic, the guys have played some awesome, awesome cricket; all the batters are getting hundreds, all the bowlers are getting wickets and we're holding our catches.

"All being well it's going to be a fantastic series and I'm not going to get into any talk about who's going to win, who's going to lose, I just think that the team that plays the best cricket over 25 days is going to win the series and that's it."

Pietersen's 158 at the Oval four years ago in his debut Test campaign helped England secure the draw in the Ashes finale which left them as 2-1 series winners.

He also made 158 in the Adelaide Test of 2006. In all his 52 Tests Pietersen averages 50.49 but in his 10 matches against Australia his average stands at 53.50.

The first Test of the current Ashes series is due to start in Cardiff on July 8.

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