x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Pietersen 'not fussed' by form

The recently turned father insists he is not worried about his recent poor form for England.

Pietersen, who burst on to the international scene with a flurry of big scores in 2005, has failed to pass 50 in his last 17 one-day international innings for England, the last being back in November 2008 when he scored 111 not out as captain against India. That has prompted some within in the game to question the long-term future of the South Africa-born star's place in the side.

Pietersen, 30, who was upstaged by man of the series Eoin Morgan in England's 3-2 win over Australia, was left out of the squad which beat Bangladesh 2-1 recently in order to rest and recover from a minor thigh injury. Pietersen recently became a father for the first time and has enjoyed spending time with his family over the last 10 days. He has shrugged off suggestions that he will not be able to bounce back from his recent poor form.

He said: "I'm not worried about my form. It happens to every single player. It's difficult when you play all three forms of the game to just keep on going and going and going. I don't know if there's a big score for me around the corner. If it happens it happens. I'm not too fussed. I'm not losing any sleep over it." England's Ashes win last summer, their ODI series victory, and May's ICC World Twenty20 triumph over the Australians have led to increased hope that Andrew Strauss's team will be able to retain the famous urn with victory Down Under this winter.

"I don't think that the one-day series win and the Twenty20 win will have any effect at all on the Ashes," said the Hampshire batsman. "The only thing we can take out of those two series is that we know a bit more about their batsmen and bowlers and their fielding positions. "The Australians are fantastic cricketers. They are tough human beings that will never, ever give up so it doesn't matter what the team is like."

* PA