DateLine: 3rd June 2008
An explosive batsman, Kevin Pietersen was born in South Africa, but returned to the country of his motherís birth to seek better playing opportunities in county cricket, due to the quota system prevalent in South African cricket. He is a big-hitting player who usually batted at No 5, he has loads of talent.
As soon as he became eligible to play for his adopted country in September 2004, he was selected for his ODI debut against Zimbabwe, where he averaged 104 in three innings. He followed that up with three centuries in five innings against South Africa in South Africa.
He made his debut against Australia at Lord's in the famous 2005 Ashes series, and immediately hit a couple of fifties in a losing cause. He smashed a phenomenal 158 on the final day at The Oval, to secure the draw that England needed for a first Ashes triumph in 18 years.
In Australia the following Ashes series, he once again scored runs, and while England's World Cup was bad for the team, it was successful for Pietersen, who hit two centuries. He notched up an important 129 run ton in England's third Test win against New Zealand in March 2008, helping his side win the series 2-1, confirming himself as England's most important batsman.Another tough century followed in the return rubber at Trent Bridge, but that was just the prelude to the innings that he had most craved - a hundred at Lord's in his first appearance against his native South Africa.Just a few weeks later and he had completed his extraordinary journey from Englishman to England's captain when he took over from Michael Vaughan who announced his retirement just after the third Test against South Africa. He prepared to lead them in all three forms of the game, a century and a victory in his maiden Test in charge at The Oval, was followed by a thumping 4-0 victory in the subsequent ODI series.