At first glance it may not seem all that special for a player of Kevin Pietersen's undoubted ability to score a century for Surrey against the students from Oxford, but that may be missing the point somewhat, when you consider the symbolic nature of his 170-run innings at the weekend. With KP clearly in the mood to throw his cap back into the ring, as he looks to establish his credentials for an England return sometime in the near future, it demonstrated that he has made the first steps towards making the mass of runs demanded of him for his new side. Having left the door ajar for a potential international recall, the selectors will no doubt be monitoring his progress closely from now on.

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The South African-born Pietersen seems as confident as ever in his new surroundings, the move to Second Division county side Surrey having being prompted by Colin Graves' comments that seemed to indicate that he may yet have a future in the England set-up after all. By accepting Surrey's offer for domestic #Cricket in England, KP has had to reduce his commitments on the lucrative global one-day cricket circuit, and has demonstrated that he still has an appetite to represent his adopted country once more. That seemed an unlikely option when England sacked him in early 2014, but with Graves keen to make his mark as chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board and already setting about making changes across the board, nothing seems to be beyond the bounds of possibility at present.

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KP's century knock against Oxford MCCU had echoes of his former brilliance with the bat in hand, with his previous three figure score having come all the way back in August 2013 during the Old Trafford Test match against the Aussies. At 34-years-old he still has age on his side in cricketing terms and his 149-ball innings showed that his power hitting remains a key factor in his armoury, featuring as it did 24 boundaries and two sixes in it. There was a healthy crowd for the match as Surrey declared on 420-7, before reducing the students to 99-6 at the close on day one of three at Oxford. KP's presence in the team, in addition to the coup of attracting Sri Lanka's star batsman Kumar Sangakkara when he joins up with the county side, seems sure to boost attendances for their matches across the country.

Whether Pietersen ends up playing all that many matches for Surrey though, may depend on his success with the bat in the next few months. Surrey will want him to do well for them of course, as they seek to endorse their early status as title favourites in the County Championship's second tier, but they also fully realise that good form may propel him towards a potential return for the latest edition of the Ashes this July when the Australians visit these shores. First things first though, he has at least made a positive start.