Pietersen believes he’s nearing his best form in South Africa

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Kevin Pietersen managed 36 runs on his debut for South African side the Dolphins as he searches for form ahead of this winters Ashes series.

After being dumped by Middlesex during the summer, Pietersen had been without a club whilst England took on Pakistan, and his poor performances during the Test series raised questions about his place in an Ashes series England are 9/4 to win.

His decision to head to South Africa was taken so that he would have some game time ahead of the Ashes series to find the form that saw him become England’s most influential player during the Twenty20 World Cup earlier in the year.

Pietersen has two games with the Dolphins and his first started strongly, sharing an 80-run partnership with Dolphins captain Imraan Khan on the first day of the four day match against the Warriors.

The South-African born England international managed six boundaries in his innings before being off the bowling of Jon-Jon Smuts.

Pietersen was trying to hit over mid-on when he was caught by Andrew Birch but will be pleased with his early contribution to the side.

He has three more innings to find his confidence before England fly to Australia for the first Test which starts on November 25th, and Pietersen will hope to contribute strongly in a Test England are 2/1 to win.

The first Test is at the Gabba where Pietersen managed an innings of 94 in his only performance there and Pietersen is 4/1 to be England’s top series runscorer.

Since the inaugural Test match at the Gabba, Australia have lost just four times in 18 matches and they are 10/11 to win the first Test.

There have also only been four draws at the Gabba between Australia and England with 9/2 available for the first Test to finish even.

Australia are 4/6 favourites to win the Ashes series. See the full Ashes Series betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.