Kevin Pietersen says he is desperate to become the first Englishman to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket before he retires from the game.
Only 11 players in the history of the game have achieved such a feat, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting.
Pietersen currently has 7,499 runs to his name, scored at an average of 49.01 in 94 matches, and the Surrey batsman says he has the landmark total in his sights.
“If I stay fit I’m desperate to get to 10,000 runs because I think that would show a great achievement and be something that I know if I look back I can go, ‘well done, you’ve achieved what you want to achieve, you’ve got the best out of your talent’," he told TalkSPORT.
“I’ve always said that at the end of my career I want to know I’ve got the best out of my talent. However many runs I get I want to know I’ve trained as hard as I can, I’ve put everything in to being the best player I can possibly be. You make mistakes along the way but they’re all learning curves.
“It [10,000 runs] is a long way away, I’ve still got two and a half thousand runs to go and who knows how long that’s going to take, or if I get there at all because of injuries, form, etc.
“But I just want to get the best out of my talent. People will remember me the way they want to remember me, it’s got nothing to do with what I say, I need to keep performing, just keep doing the business.”
The 33-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today, should have plenty of chances to add to his total during the Ashes, which get underway in under two weeks' time.
Pietersen is making good progress as he bids to make his first Test appearance for England since March, when he picked up a serious knee injury while on tour in New Zealand.
The Englishman came back with a bang as he hit an unbeaten 177 in his first game back for Surrey against Yorkshire last week.
The highest-scoring Englishman in Test history is Graham Gooch, who amassed 8900 runs during his illustrious 20-year career.
And although Pietersen is likely to overtake the former Essex batsman as England's highest ever run-scorer in the near future, he concedes that another prolific batsman from Essex will soon surpass him - England Test and ODI captain Alastair Cook, who has scored 7542 runs so far.
“His cricket just keeps getting better and better,” said Pietersen, who will be back playing international cricket for England once more tonight as they take on New Zealand in their second T20 game at the Oval.
“For me he’s the right man to lead England, he’s doing a great job for us and he will continue to get better and better and break every record anyone’s ever set, certainly in the English game.
“He’s on target to go for [Sachin] Tendulkar’s record [15,837 Test runs], if you look at the numbers and look at his age. He’s as fit as ever so fair play to him.”
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