Kevin Pietersen can put the phoney Ashes war firmly behind him by marking his 100th Test at the Gabba by scoring England’s first century of the series.
The middle-order batsman’s build up to the series Down Under – much like his journey to 100 Test caps – has been anything but smooth, but the enigmatic England batsman, who has 7,887 Test runs to his name, can prove his world-class status in his landmark Test .
Since England’s arrival down under, KP has been a target for the Aussie press, who have branded the South African-born star “arrogant” and a person “that even his team-mates do not like”.
But Pietersen, who is set to become England’s 10th member of the 100-Test club, has used a dead bat towards all the criticism and is ready to perform on the biggest stage once again.
With 42,000 Australians at the Gabba hoping for a failure, many an England batsman would be overwhelmed by the experience but not Pietersen.
The Surrey star, who is trying to follow Alec Stewart and Colin Cowdrey in making a Test century on the occasion of their 100th Test, loves the world stage and an Ashes series opener is the sort of platform that makes England’s highest run-scorer in all forms of cricket tick.
So what better way to commemorate reaching 100 appearances for your country than by hitting your 24th Test ton and Ladbrokes customers could well be celebrating too by backing Pietersen to hit England’s first century of the series at 7/2.
And with KP, who loves nothing more than putting Australia to the sword, in determined mood and ready to make an immediate impact, it would be hard to look past the 4/1, a price that will not be beaten, on him being his side’s top first innings runscorer. For England to win the match and Pietersen to top the pile for first innings runs for the visitors, you can get a 10/1 with the bookmaker.
For a longer-term bet, the powerful right-hander is 3/1 to be the top series runscorer for the tourists and 6/1 to be the overall top runscorer over the five-match series.
Having been on the winning Ashes side on four occasions, Pietersen knows what it takes to win the series and if England are to retain the coveted urn for a fourth consecutive time, expect England’s main attraction to play a massive part once again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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