Pietersen dashes Oz 'rusty, undercooked' hopes with 'unbeaten' return to form ahead of Ashes

Washington, June 26 (ANI): England batsman Kevin Pietersen has made a good comeback from injury by making an unbeaten 177 for Surrey against the County Championship leaders Yorkshire, dashing Australia's hopes for having him 'rusty and undercooked' in the Ashes.

Pietersen, who batted for the first time in exactly 100 days, reached his total from just 188 balls, and hit 17 fours and seven sixes, in the 48th first-class century of his career, Fox News reports.

According to new Surrey coach Alec Stewart, although Pietersen has not played any type of cricket since March, he has worked very hard, which could be seen in his performance against Yorkshire, adding that there is no other player that can play like him when he is in his best form.

Meanwhile, the report said that despite Pietersen's comeback, England is far from invincible which could be seen in the ICC Champions Trophy final when they lost to India, adding that the fact should offer Australia some hope in the Ashes to apply some real pressure on their arch rivals.

Despite the taunts that England threw towards Australia, which culmulated with the sacking of Australian head coach Mickey Arthur just days before the Ashes, former England captain Michael Vaughan, who led the insults on Twitter, however, admitted that he believed that Australia would pose England a threat, after the appointment of Darren Lehmann as the new coach.

Stating that England cricket is well aware of Lehmann's character and talents after his nine years with Yorkshire, Vaughan further said that Lehmann was one of the three biggest influences on his career due to his toughness and the knack to tell home truths, adding that he belives that Australia now has a chance to steamroller England with Lehmann in charge of operations.

However, the report said that since the retirement of all-time greats Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting, Australian fortunes have gone downhill, adding that England has a chance to have success at the Ashes if they remember to hold the bat at the thin end over the next six months. (ANI)

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