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KP predicts one day game demise

Kevin Pietersen believes 50-over cricket could eventually be phased out after the massive explosion of interest in the Twenty20 form of the game.

And the England batsman can see the shortened version of the game taking off in America in the same way as in India and in this country.

Pietersen still has a great love of the Test game, as demonstrated by his crucial century that helped clinch the 2-0 series win over New Zealand.

But, following the announcement this week of England's lucrative clash in Antigua in November funded by Sir Allen Stanford, he feels Twenty20 will lead the way in terms of one-day cricket.

Pietersen said: "Test cricket is the best. It is amazing. I love Test cricket and the challenges over the five days and the different situations you get yourself into it.

"That thrill of scoring a Test match hundred, there is nothing better than that. Nothing beats that.

"But I do think Twenty20 will be the new form of one-day cricket, for sure. I reckon in the next couple of years, 50 overs is probably going to be something of the past.

"It is also one of those situations where Twenty20 could filter into America. I see Sir Allen Stanford has mentioned that as well and I believe that can happen.

"It is positive for cricket. It is getting front and back-page coverage in the papers. The last time we saw that was when we won that amazing series against Australia three years ago."

Pietersen added: "I don't think the 50-over game has had its day yet.

"But I think in terms of everything going on now with Twenty20, the financial rewards the players get, and the tournaments coming up and the interest created and the audience it grabs, then maybe so in a couple of years. Not right now - but in a couple of years.

"What it could also do is speed up your 50-over game and people could score 400 runs regularly. What Twenty20 will do is speed up all parts of cricket because guys are going out there to entertain, to score a lot quicker.

"There may be a lot more four-day Test matches possibly and a lot more 400 scores in 50-over games."

In the immediate term, England start a five-match NatWest Series of 50-over games against the Kiwis at Durham tomorrow looking to avenge a 3-1 reversal in the winter.

And Pietersen is quick to praise the strength of New Zealand in that form of the game after defeating them in the Test and Twenty20 battles of the past two months.

He said: "New Zealand have a fantastic one-day side. I don't know why we have beaten them so convincingly in Twenty20. In three games we've hammered them.

"At the top of the innings, (Brendan) McCullum is a serious player on his day. He can look dreadful on other days. Guys like (Jamie) How hit the ball in good areas and play aggressive cricket.

"I think a big difference will be the absence of Jacob Oram (hamstring). But then you've got guys like (Ross) Taylor, (Daniel) Vettori - who is world class, a one-day bowling attack which is underrated.

"(Kyle) Mills is number five or six in the world in one-day bowling. He bowls 82-83mph and puts it on a penny. They have a very disciplined one-day team and their fielding is exceptional."

Pietersen confirmed he will bat at number three during the series as England look to gain early momentum, which has not always been evident.

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