Kevin Pietersen has repeated his desire to get back into the England set-up… especially as the younger players ‘need me’.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Ricky Ponting during a Big Bash commentary, Pietersen claimed England’s one-day team captain Eoin Morgan ‘would love’ to have him back in the team, and is batting as well as he ever has.
‘Who knows? I don’t see why not. I’m hitting it OK and I get on pretty well with most of the guys in there, if not all of them,’ added Pietersen. ‘I want to play for England; if I get the opportunity to play for England I will.
‘I honestly believe that I’m batting as well as I’ve ever batted. I’ve got over my knee injury, which is huge. Over the last 18 months I’ve just hated batting, just because my knee has been so sore. I love playing cricket at the moment so given half an opportunity to go and play [in the World Cup], the way I’m playing at the moment, of course I would.’
Pietersen says young players will still consult him on approach and tactics.
‘The frustrating thing for me is that I’ll be sitting on my sofa watching a series and I’ll get a message from a couple of youngsters in the side saying “what shall I do tomorrow – how should I play?” That for me is quite sad because I’d prefer to be standing at the other end, or training with these guys, saying this is how we should and shouldn’t do it.’
Pietersen turned the tables at points during the interview, asking Ponting: ‘Would you select me, Punter, if you were an England selector?’
‘I think you’d be in England’s best one-day team for a World Cup, yeah,’ Ponting said.
Pietersen was sacked by England in the wake of last summer’s Ashes whitewash and insists he has the ability and experience to add to his 104 Test and 136 ODI caps.