England legend Sir Ian Botham has hailed Kevin Pietersen as one of the greatest batsmen of all-time.

The Surrey star is back in the nets after a lengthy spell out of action with a knee injury, and is hoping to be fit for this summer’s Ashes series against Australia.

With a return tour to follow Down Under just five months later, it promises to be a big year for both England and ‘KP’, providing he can maintain his fitness.

And Botham is in no doubt that the Dehli Daredevil can find runs quickly if and when he returns to the side, believing Pietersen is one of the greatest batters of all-time.

“The runs will come, we know that. Pietersen’s to come back into the side and Kevin is one of the best to have ever played, never mind one of the best players at the moment,” said the Sky Sports pundit, according to the Express and Star.

Pietersen will miss the ICC Trophy as well as the current series against New Zealand, but one player who is involved in the action is James Anderson.

The Lancashire seamer has again shone with the ball against the Kiwis, and Botham has tipped the bowler to beat his own all-time England wickets record, which stands at 383.

“I think he’s magnificent. He’s been the leader of the pack for a long time and will be for a long time to come,” added ‘Beefy’.

“He gets better and better and I think he’ll get 484 (Test wickets). I think he’ll go sailing past (my record) and I can’t think of a better person to take the mantle over.”

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