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Pietersen enjoying benefits of hard work

"I think I've done OK, and it's not just because of talent or whatever it is, I'm one of the hardest-working blokes," he said.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2005 15:39 IST

There's no secret to South African-born Kevin Pietersen's rise to the top of English cricket, he says he's "one of the hardest-working blokes." "Whether you're a businessman, whether you're a sportsman, whether you do whatever you do . . . the best people get to the top," Pietersen said on Friday after his first training session with the World XI squad that will play Australia in three limited-overs matches.

"I think I've done OK, and it's not just because of talent or whatever it is, I'm one of the hardest-working blokes," he said. "I love hard work, I love to sweat it out, I love to be at the end of a training session absolutely knackered, jump in a shower and change and you know that you've absolutely given 120 percent commitment. That's just the way I see it."

Last November, the unorthodox 25-year-old batsman first represented England in a one-day series against Zimbabwe. He moved from South Africa to England in 2001 and had to wait until 2004 to be eligible to play for his adopted country.

Pietersen has since played 21 one-day internationals, averaging 87.33, and including three centuries.

He made his Test debut in the Ashes series, beginning with three consecutive half-centuries, before his 158 in the series-deciding Test at The Oval.

That was the last time he picked up a bat until Friday's Junction Oval training session with the all-star international side ahead of the one-day series at Telstra Dome on October 5, 7 and 9. Pietersen has been included among five nominees for the International Cricket Council's limited-overs player of the year. "It's just flattering, it's probably well-deserved as well, because I think my stats have been pretty good in the last 12 months," Pietersen said.

"But doing my apprenticeship, my four years of qualification (for England), I had pretty good stats leading all the way up into it, so I think my selection is justified."

Following the Ashes, Pietersen spent a week "chilling" in the United States. He said the break left him keen to get back onto the field.

"It's the best feeling in the world when you know you just want to play," he said. "I batted for two hours this morning and I feel good."

First Published: Oct 03, 2005 15:39 IST