England skipper Alastair Cook delighted to have Kevin Pietersen back in his squad
Last Updated: 04/01/13 7:54am
Alastair Cook (R): Delighted to have Kevin Pietersen (L) at his disposal
England skipper Alastair Cook admits having Kevin Pietersen back in the squad is a huge boost as they prepare to face India in a five-match ODI series.
Pietersen was a key player in England's Test series win on the sub-continent following his "reintegration" into the international set-up after he fell out with senior management.
He averaged 48.28 runs during the Test series and smashed 186 in the second Test in Mumbai to help England level the series before they went on to win it 2-1.
"It is great to have KP back in the one-day side. I can't speak highly enough of the way he went about things in India. As a captain it is great to have a player like him back fresh and desperate to score runs for England."
Pietersen's short-term central contract expires at the end of January but it is due to be extended soon and Cook is convinced he is worth his place in the squad, despite the fact he has not played an ODI since February 2012.
"It is great to have KP back in the one-day side," said Cook. "I can't speak highly enough of the way he went about things in India.
"As a captain it is great to have a player like him back fresh and desperate to score runs for England.
"That hundred in Mumbai was such an important innings that proved his worth. Hopefully his experience in these conditions, with the Indian Premier League as well, is something we can use over the next three weeks."
Pietersen will then be rested for the tour of New Zealand in February but Cook insists that is merely a result of England's decision to rest key players on certain tours, with Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Jonathan Trott sitting out the India tour.
"We have to look after every player. KP is no different," added Cook.
"We have looked at things in the past and how we are going to improve them in the future. The rotation of certain players at certain times will benefit players' longevity.
"We are looking at players' workload. On this leg of the tour a few players are getting (a break) and it gives an opportunity for a few other players to come in and stake their claim. We are developing a squad of 15 or 16, which you need to do.
"What we have done very well is that players can get rest at the right time but you need to do that tour by tour."