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Ashes 2013-14: Former England coach Peter Moores praises Kevin Pietersen

Moores - KP will be key

Peter Moores: Praised Kevin Pietersen on the eve of his 100th Test appearance

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Former England head coach Peter Moores has praised Kevin Pietersen's contribution to the national side ahead of his 100th Test.

The pair had a well-documented falling out when Pietersen was England captain but Moores, who was national coach from 2007-9, believes the player has been able to fit into the present England side.

He believes Pietersen's focus this week will be on getting England off to a winning start when they take on Australia at the Gabba in the first Ashes clash.

Current Lancashire head coach Moores told Sky Sports: "There's no doubt that he's a great player and that's not in debate.

"Anybody that plays 100 Test matches for their country, it's a fantastic achievement for them, but also to do it like Kevin has, having such a strong influence on so many games and averaging 50 or close to, makes him one of those special players.

"So I don't think you can ever doubt his credentials about being a Test match player. He's fitted into what is a very strong England side and he'll be really looking forward to the occasion coming up later this week."

Bold

Asked what sort of character 'KP' is to have around a team dressing room, Moores replied: "I think he's a bold character, I think you see that when he bats.

"He bats and he takes his chances and I think in the dressing room, often those very good players, those people who push the boundaries a bit, that's their nature and it works well on the cricket field for Kevin, and you've got to be able to handle them also in the dressing room.

"And I think that England team, I think the journey Kevin's been through with that team, I think both sides have probably shown that they can give and take a little bit, which is really important to make things work.

"I mean the key for playing in a successful team is you can work together in the serious business of representing your country.

"And that's what's really going to count later on this week when they come to face Australia, who I think will be confident because they've had a little bit of a break and they'll come in there fresh, but they're going to play against a very strong England team."

The opening Ashes Test gets underway on Sky Sports 2 HD from 11pm on Wednesday