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Pietersen supported to be back among runs in Sri Lanka series

| 23.05.2011

Kevin Pietersen has been backed to rediscover his best scoring form by England ahead of their upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

Despite reaching three figures just once in two years, when scoring 227 in Adelaide during the Ashes series with Australia, Pietersen has been named in the squad for the first Test with Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

Pietersen is 4/1 in the cricket odds to be England’s top runscorer in the first Test and chairman of selectors Geoff Miller believes that the right decision has been made in picking the batsman ahead of the likes of Ravi Bopara to score the runs to hand England the series initiative.

Miller said: “We know what a quality player he is. It’s up to him to actually get some consistent runs for us now. We back him to do it, we have given him the opportunity.

“At the moment we’ll back him to be the quality international player that he has been in the past and, we hope, will be in the future.”

Pietersen was involved on the only other occasion that England played a Test match at Cardiff, during the 2009 Ashes series.

England eventually clung on for a draw after Pietersen had initially top-scored with 69 in a first-innings total of 435.

However, England’s bowling will need to be far better against Sri Lanka than was the case against Australia, as four Aussies scored centuries in their total of 674/6 declared.

England’s odds are 5/6 to win the first Test, while a repeat of the draw that was achieved against Australia in Cardiff is priced at 7/4.

Meanwhile, it is 4/9 that England come out on top over the course of the three-game series, with Sri Lanka 5/1 in their first series of 2011.

A £30 stake on Pietersen being England’s top series runscorer would return £120. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.