March 6, 1998
A gentle offspinner makes his debut
Pietersen makes his first-class debut
for Natal 'B' against Easterns at Kingsmead aged just 17. Regarded primarily as an offspinner and lower-order batsman at this stage of his career, Pietersen took one wicket in the match and, batting at no.8, made an unbeaten three in his only innings.
Graeme Swann, 10 years earlier
Impresses members of the touring England side, including Nasser Hussain, during an England XI warm-up match
against KwaZulu-Natal at Kingsmead, clearing the boundary four times on his way to an unbeaten 57-ball 61. He also picks up four top-order wickets with his handy offspin.
Signs a three-year contract with Nottinghamshire in the year he turns 20. Pietersen, who has a British passport courtesy of his English mother, tells a South African newspaper "I'm not turning my back on South African cricket", but eventually decides to throw in his lot with Nottinghamshire, saying that the "guarantee of three years of high-quality cricket" with Nottinghamshire was "a career opportunity too good to turn down."
April 21, 2001
Start as you mean to go on
Pietersen cracks his maiden first-class hundred on debut for Nottinghamshire against Loughborough UCCE at Trent Bridge
. It is a typically bellicose knock, with Pietersen reaching 122 from 147 balls, with three sixes, before being stumped.
April to September, 2001
A star ascends
Pietersen powers his way to 1275 first-class runs at 57.95 in his first season for Nottinghamshire. The highlight of the season is his unbeaten double-hundred
April to September, 2002
Second season blues
Pietersen's second season of English domestic cricket, proves to be less fruitful than the first, but he still manages 737 runs in 10 County Championship games and two hundreds in the Norwich Union League. His unbeaten 254
against Middlesex earns widespread acclaim, and he follows that up with 122
in a Norwich Union League game against Somerset, and a championship hundred against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge
, to storm to three hundreds in as many games.
February to March 2004
Man among boys
Tours India with England A and despite the visitors losing every match Pietersen's reputation towers, as he finishes with three centuries in six innings at 104.60
from the first-class games and 50.66 from the three-match ODI series against India A, including a 122-ball 131
in the second game.
Heave-ho and time to go
After another successful county season, and one month from qualifying to play for England, Pietersen's bristling intent on making it at the highest level sees him leave Nottinghamshire to join Shane Warne's Hampshire in Division One.
November 28, 2004
Calm before the storm
Having served his four-year qualification period Pietersen is immediately called up to make his debut
against Zimbabwe. He starts quietly with 27 from 57 balls to guide England to the first of four easy victories.
January to February 2005
Pietersen arrives back to the country of his birth swinging from the hip. He has a pop at the South African system, the South African captain but most memorably, the South African bowlers. Boos turned to gasps, as the home crowd were treated 108*
, 100 from 69 balls
as Pietersen ends the seven-match series with 473 runs. Confirms his unwavering 'Englishness' by unreservedly pashing the England crest on his helmet upon reaching his first hundred before emblazoning his shoulder with a giant three-lions tattoo. English cricket finally unearths the gem that Graeme Hick was supposed to have been 13 years before.
June 19, 2005
A statement of intent
With anticipation ahead of the 2005 Ashes building into a crescendo unseen in English cricket for decades, Pietersen took his omission from the Test's against Bangladesh on the chin and announced himself to home crowds with a dazzling 91 from 65 deliveries
to power England to victory in the first ODI against Australia of the summer in Bristol. His composure and relish for big-match pressure became a feature of the summer.
July 21, 2005
Starting with style
In a frantic opening Test at Lord's
, Pietersen silenced any suspicions that his destructive approach would come unstuck with a pair of fifties as Australia beat England. Fourth England player to top-score in both innings on debut.
September 12, 2005
With England needing a draw to secure the Ashes at The Oval
, Pietersen arrives at the crease with England only four wickets down with a slender 115 lead. Dropped twice before he reached double figures and shaken by a vicious bouncer attack from Brett Lee before lunch, Pietersen sauntered in after the break and smashed the bowling all round south London. He hurtled to 158, making the game and the series safe for England and taking the man-of-the-match award.
One to watch
After less than a year in international cricket, Pietersen is named ICC One-day player of the year and ICC Emerging player of the year.
Three in a row
Scores 158 at Lord's
against Sri Lanka in the first Test of the summer and follows it up with 142 in the next Test at Edgbaston
, which including his 158 against Australia to close of the 2005 summer makes him the first England player since Graham Gooch to make hundreds in three consecutive innings. Enters the top ten in the world rankings.
November 2006 to April 2007
A class apart
The wheels come off for England as they are demolished 5-0 by the Ricky Ponting's revenge-filled Australians before being dumped out of the World Cup in the Super-eight stage. Pietersen is the only player to impress for England, but the responsibility of shoring up a brittle batting line up blunts his flamboyant strokeplay as he settles for clinical run getting. His 158 in the first innings at Adelaide
against the same side at in the World Cup confirm his status as the England's best player.
Welcomes West Indies with a 109 in a run-glut draw in the first Test at Lord's
before following it with a double hundred in the second Test at Headingley
March 22, 2008
Back with a bang
In the crucial deciding Test against New Zealand at Napier
, England were staring down the barrel when Pietersen came to the crease at 4 for 2. While he tried to bed himself in England collapsed to 36 for four. However, with a patience rarely apparent in his approach he cajoled to lower order to take England to 253, finishing on 129 from 208 deliveries.
July 10, 2008
Having left the country of his birth to play for England, before returning to South Africa to rip their attack apart to announce himself on the world stage, the touring South Africans had a clear target for their big pace line-up to aim at. Yet, in his first Test against them, at Lord's
he strokes his way to 152. The extended ovation he received up on reaching the milestone moved him to declare "I've never felt so loved".
August 4, 2008
After Michael Vaughan's tearful farewell, Pietersen is appointed England captain. The man to lead in all formats, he settles murmurs that the responsibility may affect his batting by scoring a century in his first Test in charge at the Oval
. Goes on to lead England to a 4-0 rout of South Africa in the one-day series.
December 31, 2008
Having been asked by the ECB to fulfil his 'end-of-term report' at the conclusion of the India tour, news breaks on new year's eve that Pietersen wants Moores removed as coach, telling his bosses: "I can't lead this team forward and take it to the West Indies if Peter Moores is coach." The bold move backfires as the ECB publicise the entire debacle - seemingly sharing Pietersen's assessment by firing Moores before 'accepting' a resignation from Pietersen which he insists he never made.
Back in the ranks
With question marks surrounding Pietersen in the first Test since the conclusion on his brief captaincy stint, he responds with 97 against in the first innings against West Indies at Kingstown
but a rash shot to get out, followed by England's second-innings collapse leaves many frustrated.
April 10, 2009
Becomes, along with England team-mate and rival Andrew Flintoff, the IPL's most expensive player, signing for Royal Chargers Bangalore for $1.55 million. Has a disappointing tournament and worsens a long-standing Achilles injury.
July 8, 2009
It's the way I play
Looking well-set on 69 in the first-Test of the 2009 Ashes at Cardiff
Pietersen attempts an awkward and senseless sweep to Nathan Hauritz and is caught behind. His dismissal opens the door for Australia to charge through and dominate. He defends the shot insisting it's just the way he plays.
July 22, 2009
Limps out of the limelight
Fails to make an impression on one of cricket's biggest stages - the Ashes Test at Lord's and the Achilles injury rules him out of the rest of the summer as he heads for the operating table.
November 2009 to January 2010
Having waited his entire career to play a Test in the country of his birth, Pietersen has endures a torrid tour to South Africa. Looking uncharacteristically tense at the crease the runs dry up following a hideous run out in the first Test at Centurion
for 81. Ends the series with 177 runs at 25.28.
December 3-7, 2010
England roll over Australia by an innings in Adelaide
, and Pietersen plays a big role, scoring 227, his highest in Tests.
An Indian summer
Pietersen starts the four-Test home series against India by scoring an unbeaten 202 at Lord's
, and finishes it with 175 at The Oval
. His tally for the series is 533, easily his highest ever.
Misery against Pakistan
From his best series to his worst: in three Tests
against Pakistan, he scores 67 at an average of 11.16, his poorest average in a series ever. But returns to form in ODI cricket with two centuries in the final two matches of a series England win 4-0.
Frustrations come to a head
Pietersen retires from all limited-overs cricket, four months before England defend their World T20 title. He had requested England's management to not be considered for 50-over cricket but the terms of England's central contracts require players to be available for all forms. So Pietersen throws in the towel on all white-ball cricket but goes on record to say he wants to play for England at the World T20.
August 4, 2012
Stunning Headingley onslaught
Amid all the off-field controversy, Pietersen slams an outstanding 149
against South Africa to ensure a draw.
August 12, 2012
Dropped for Lord's
Pietersen is left out
of the England squad for the third Test against South Africa, over alleged text messages sent to South African players that were derogatory to people in the current England set-up.
Still an outcast
Pietersen not included in England's World T20 squad who fail to make the semi-finals. Appears as a pundit on Indian television during the tournament
Successfully "reintegrated" into the England dressing room and responds with one of the greatest Test innings: 186 in Mumbai
on a turning wicket with England one down in the series and staring into the abyss. Makes two half-centuries in the remaining Tests as England take a famous 2-1 victory
Ashes winner again
Scapegoat for disaster
Swings wildly across the line to be bowled for 71 in Melbourne,
Pietersen's only half-century of a wretched series where England surrender the Urn 5-0 and Pietersen is criticised for his style of play