Kevin Pietersen insists he is committed to England

First Test: England v Sri Lanka

Venue:
Cardiff
Date:
26-30 May
Start time:
1100 BST each day
Coverage:
Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website; live video scorecard on Red Button (not Freeview); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; watch live on Sky Sports (subscription required); highlights on Channel 5

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Pressure on all places - Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen has insisted he is fully committed to England ahead of Thursday's first Test with Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old has made only one Test century in the last two years, and his future was questioned when he chose to leave the World Cup because of injury.

"I cannot stress how important cricket is to me; I love cricket and playing for England," he told BBC Sport.

"I am more hungry than ever to achieve things, I want to get 10,000 Test runs - 5,700 is nowhere near enough."

Pietersen returned home from the World Cup even though medical reports suggested he could have completed the tournament, and an appearance at a London nightspot shortly after arriving back from the sub-continent also prompted criticism.

"I had a really bad hernia on the left side and when they opened me up on the right side they realised I had a double hernia so it wasn't any surprise I was in the amount of pain I was in," he said.

"But that's gone, done and dusted, I'm not worried about that, I'm fully fit and ready for a bumper summer with England."

Following the Test and one-day matches with Sri Lanka, England face world number one Test side and World Cup winners, India.

"The bigger picture is not something we need to focus on, the pictures we need to look at are the first hour of play Thursday morning," Pietersen said.

"I don't think we deal with things in a good manner when we think big things. The way our team operates at its best is when we think about smaller targets and we concentrate on those."

Pietersen's form dipped after he resigned from the England captaincy in 2009 following a disagreement about team matters with then-coach Peter Moores, who was subsequently relieved of his duties.

"I needed to go away and find my love for the game. It is commonly known I didn't really enjoy what I was doing for a while because I was hurt," said Pietersen, who worked with Graham Ford prior to the Ashes in Australia in 2010-11, when he scored a sublime 227 in the Adelaide Test.

"I went back and worked hard at what I was doing, with people that know me inside out and I don't think it was any surprise that a month later I knocked out a decent score," he said.

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