x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Flower full of praise for Pietersen as batsman completes return to England fold with new contract

Andy Flower, the England team director, said Pietersen could be 'proud' of his performance as both individual and a player against India after his return to the Test line-up.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Kevin Pietersen's 'reintegration' into the England team looks set to be completed after the batsman agreed a new annual deal with the ECB.

Pietersen had signed a four-month deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board to take part in the successful India Test series following his acrimonious dispute with them during the summer.

Team director Andy Flower believes the row following the South Africa series, which led to Pietersen originally being dropped from the India squad, is now fully resolved.

"We did move on from it as soon as we had our meetings and everyone made a commitment to do so," he said.

"I want to continue that, moving forward.

"We want to learn from the past, but we don't want to keep on revisiting it."

Flower was central in the peacemaking process which allowed Pietersen to heal wounds with management and some senior players, leading to his return to the line-up.

"The contract won't be a problem," he said.

"Kevin has been excellent in every way.

"We don't all always get on with people all of the time - any of us in any walk of life - and everyone has made an effort to make it work.

"It's been really good fun and he should be very proud of the way he's operated out here both as an individual and as a player."

Pietersen's masterful hundred in Mumbai was the man-of-the-match performance in a comeback victory which set them on the way to their unexpected series success.

"In Mumbai he showed real skill in Indian conditions on a pitch that turned on the first day," added Flower.

"For him to score as quickly as he did there and put such pressure on the opposition bowlers really helped us turn the series around."

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