England captain Alastair Cook admits it's good to have Kevin Pietersen back

Last Updated: 30/10/12 10:48am

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Captain Alastair Cook admits England's squad are "desperate to get going" as they prepare for the first outing on their tour of India.

Cook's side begin their preparations for a four-Test series with a warm-up fixture against India 'A' in Mumbai - a match that will see Kevin Pietersen make his return to action in England colours.

But even with the Surrey batsman back in their ranks, the tourists face a tall order to topple their hosts this winter - England have not recorded a series triumph in India since 1985.

"I know I speak on behalf of the players when I say we're really desperate to get on with it."
Alastair Cook

"It's a huge challenge for us," Cook said after arriving on Monday. "History suggests how hard it is for an England side to win on the sub-continent

"But we've got a great squad to try and deal with these challenges. We've got a lot of experience, as well as some new players who haven't played a lot of international cricket.

"We've also got a great support network around us with our management team, so we're in a really healthy situation now.

"I know I speak on behalf of the players when I say we're really desperate to get on with it."

Pietersen comeback

Pietersen didn't travel with the rest of the party having missed the training camp in Dubai due to his commitments with the Delhi Daredevils in the Twenty20 Champions League.

"We have seen Kev - he's desperate to get going and we're desperate to have him back in the team," Cook added. "As I've said previously, it's great to have world-class players I your team."

Team director Andy Flower believes England prepared extremely well in the United Arab Emirates, including working hard on facing slow bowling as they get ready to face a trial by spin in India.

"The three days of training there were as good as we could have asked. It gave us a good start to our tour," the Zimbabwean said.

"There was a focus on it (spin). They will have quality seamers as well, and seamers can still take wickets in these conditions.

"We are aware of the challenge ahead of us."

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