Sadly for England, he was out first ball, in the second shambolic run-out he and fellow opener Michael Carberry have managed to haplessly conjure in the space of a week. Yesterday was not about Kevin.
It was instead about Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, and Shane Watson, Australia's enigma. The tourists' two best batsmen stood up on the front foot when it counted, bashing England's bowling all over the Ageas Bowl, winning by 49 runs and clinching a rain-hit series 2-1.
Their partnership was a stand of power and precision and 163. They came together - after a brief rain break - with Clarke facing the third ball of a potential Ben Stokes hat-trick, after Aaron Finch had smacked a catch straight to Eoin Morgan at point and Matthew Wade gloved an attempted pull behind.
The captain, though, decided to eschew the traditional post-quick-wickets policy of consolidation, opting instead to launch a swash-buckling counter attack. Clarke's instinct to attack has provided much of the summer's entertainment and here the same applied, the game only petering out after it became clear with 10 overs to go that England were not going to catch Australia's 298.
After Pietersen, Carberry was next to go; he made a middling 30 before being trapped lbw by James Faulkner.Root's inside edge and then stumps were found by Mitchell Johnson before Luke Wright was run out by George Bailey's direct hit. Eoin Morgan became the second to fall on 30, stumped by Wade after Adam Voges drifted one out wide.
When Ravi Bopara and Joss Buttler briefly steadied the sinking ship, an unlikely victory creeped within reach. Buttler could only repeat the first half of his heroics from the last encounter, however, falling in the 39th over; clean-bowled by Faulkner. England's last hope was Bopara. England's hope lasted until Voges sent him walking with a super catch at extra cover off Johnson, who finished with figures of 10-1-21-2 to belie his former status as England's whipping boy.
Jordan fell, for 14, picking out Bailey at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Watson. Stokes contributed a little cameo, but the match situation meant his 27 was a fruitless endeavour - as was the single run Tredwell made before he was bowled by Ahmed to really end home hopes.
So much did Clarke and Watson dominate Australia's earlier innings that the tourists' third-highest scorer was the careless England bowling attack and their sorry collection of 19 wides and leg byes. The captain's long, back-pain-defying run-a-ball stay was eventually brought to end as he mistimed a big hit to Pietersen at mid-off, but the rest of the Australian batting played barely a supporting role. Phil Hughes was made short work of by Chris Jordan - making his international debut - as he lobbed a simple catch to Carberry.
Pick of the bowlers was Stokes, who finished with a five-for, and had Voges caught behind after Root had enticed Bailey into overbalancing and getting stumped by Buttler. Everyone else fell cheaply. The tourists' total should have been even higher, and certainly would have had Watson survived to the finish, and not edged behind off Stokes going for another monstrous hit.
In the end, it didn't matter.