Kevin Pietersen will return to the England fold for the tour of India for the first time since his controversial axing from the Test squad during the South Africa series.
His return has done little to enhance the Three Lions’ chances in the betting stakes, with an away series win priced at 10/3, identical to the draw, with India expected to cruise on home soil as massive 8/13 favourites.
When you consider the woeful record of the team recently knocked off the world number one pedestal on the flat pitches of the sub-continent, it’s easy to see why the hosts are anticipated to dominate.
The inclusion of the 32-year-old batsman will certainly improve his team’s chances of success; England have endured less painful experiences in India with the Natal-born batsman in the side, losing just two of the five matches played here since he broke into the team seven years ago, as well as winning their first Test here since 1985.
KP himself boasts a strong record against the Indians and the Three Lions will need it to come to the forefront in this series if they intend to make inroads on reclaiming top spot in the Test ranks. Plus a few big scores are necessary if he is to repair the damage caused with his infamous text messages.
Of the 21 tons he’s amassed in his Test career, he’s picked up more against India than any other nation – five in total – and England have never lost to Duncan Fletcher’s men when KP has scored in triple digits.
He also holds an incredible average of 62.15 from 21 innings of batting against the Indians, second only to the 68.40 he’s racked up against Bangladesh, and a massive improvement on the already impressive 49.48 he has from 88 Test caps.
However, these promising omens are somewhat dampened by the fact he’s only ever picked up one century away from home versus this opposition, with Andy Flower’s men winning just one of five Tests here since Pietersen came into the team.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date