The flamboyant cricketer was left out of the India tour party before being recalled after discussions with Team director and coach Andy Flower and senior players. Pietersen was dropped in August for sending provocative text messages to some South African players. He is set to return to England duty for the first warm-up tie against India ‘A’ today after his sensational 149 in the Headingley Test against the Proteas in August.
“He has played a huge amount of cricket, some 90 Test matches, and he has experience of sub-continent cricket with the IPL. That experience is valuable to us if we are going to get used to the conditions as quickly as we can,” Cook said yesterday.
“It’s great to have world-class players in our team and, if we want to play the standard of cricket we know we are capable of, we need to have our best players.”
Flower is confident Pietersen would return to his best. “We’ve had some great success and some great times together over the last few years. I think we can work very well together in the future and we’ve already started that process.
“It takes a little while to get back into your rhythm and top form, but he’s an amazing cricketer. I’m looking forward to him being involved. We had a long chat this morning, we’ve had a number of chats on the phone and of course he flew back to England just recently,” said Flower.