Kevin Pietersen Dropped By England For Third Test V South Africa, Here's His Career Highs And Lows

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KEVIN PIETERSEN
Pietersen has had a terrific and turbulent England career | PA

Kevin Pietersen has been omitted from England's third Test squad to face South Africa following reports he sent derogatory text messages about captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.

Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow will replace the 32-year-old for the Lord's Test as England bid to draw the series 1-1.

Pietersen said in a statement: "To say I am gutted is an understatement," after he was dropped for the first time in seven years from the Test team.

Last week, the Surrey cricketer was convinced a parody account of him on Twitter was set-up by team-mates. @KevPietersen24 was closed on Friday, days after the South-African-born batsman supposedly demanded its removal from the social networking site.


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The decision to drop Pietersen, despite a century at Headingley in the second Test, shows, as Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew said: "how disenfranchised he is within the [England] set-up". His brash nature and individualism has marked him out as a detached member of Strauss' Test squad, particularly since he lost the England captaincy in 2009.

Amid reports Pietersen had threatened to retire after the final Test of the series against South Africa, he released a lengthy interview on YouTube pledging his allegiance to England's cricket team.

Pietersen has experienced a terrific yet turbulent England cricket career over seven years, playing in 88 Test matches and hitting an average of 49. Here are the highs and lows...

HIGHS

SUMMER 2005
Pietersen is preferred to veteran Graham Thorpe in England's squad for the first Test against Australia. He plays all five matches and hits an Ashes-clinching maiden Test century at The Oval.

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AUGUST 2008
Takes over the captaincy of both Test and one-day international teams, after Michael Vaughan's resignation following defeat to South Africa. Pietersen marks his first match as captain, against his native country, with a century at The Oval.

2009/10
Named player of the tournament as England win their first ever International Cricket Council silverware in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

2010/11
A career-best double-hundred in Adelaide is a personal highlight as England retain the Ashes in Australia with a 3-1 win. It is their first series win there in a quarter of a century.

SUMMER 2011
Pietersen is part of a prolific batting order as England go to the top of the ICC world Test rankings with a 4-0 trouncing of India.

SUMMER 2012
Named man of the match against South Africa at Headingley after a first-innings 149.

LOWS

JANUARY 2009
After a fraught tour of India, interrupted by terrorist attacks on Mumbai, reports emerge of a rift between Pietersen and coach Peter Moores. Both lose their jobs, and the triumphant Strauss-Flower captain-coach axis begins.

SUMMER 2009
Surgery on an Achilles injury rules Pietersen out of the final three Ashes Tests, as England regain the urn on home soil without their break-out star of the 2005 series.

SUMMER 2010
Announces, in colourful language on his Twitter account, that he is dropped for England's ODI series at home to Pakistan. The England and Wales Cricket Board fine him for his outburst.

2010/11
Pietersen is promoted to open in the World Cup, but his campaign ends when he announces he leaves the squad due to pain in his hernia. England are knocked out in a 10-wicket quarter-final defeat by Sri Lanka.

2011/12
A 5-0 ODI whitewash defeat in India is followed by the publication of Graeme Swann's autobiography, in which the off-spinner suggests Pietersen was never captain material.

England lose 3-0 to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates-hosted Test series as Pietersen averages only 12.

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MAY 2012
Pietersen is fined again by the ECB for a Twitter faux pas, after he criticises Sky commentator Nick Knight. A week later he announces his retirement from all limited-overs international cricket at 31.

JULY 2012
Attempts a U-turn when negotiations for Pietersen to play in the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka in September are fruitless when a preliminary 30-man squad is announced without his name in the list.

AUGUST 2012
Dropped Pietersen is left out of the squad for the third Test against South Africa, possibly ending his international career for good.

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