India v England: Kevin Pietersen set to play in tour opener

England batsman Kevin Pietersen is set to feature for the first time since August against India A on Tuesday

Harry Kemble
By Harry Kemble
kevin pietersen
Kevin Pietersen has not played for England since August Photo: The Sport Review

kevin pietersen

Kevin Pietersen will play for England for the first time since August against India A on Tuesday.

Pietersen’s selection marks the completion of his “reintegration” period after being dropped for sending text messages to the South African dressing room over the summer.

The three-day match in Mumbai is the tourist’s first chance of match practice ahead of their opening Test match against India next month.

“He is down to play and will be batting at four,” England coach Andy Flower told BBC Sport.

Pietersen, 32, had been playing in the Champions League T20 before flying to India over the weekend.

England will start the four-Test series as second favourites as they look to beat a side who have only lost twice in 12 years on home soil.

Alastair Cook, who will be captaining the Test side for the first time, understands the value of having a player like Pietersen in his side.

“As I have always said, 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 will have to have our best players to do that,” said Cook.

“He has played a huge amount of cricket, some 90 Test matches, and he has experience of sub-Continent cricket with the Indian Premier League.

“That experience is valuable to us if we are going to get used to the conditions as quickly as we can.”

“As a senior batter he is there to get runs and, off the field, to pass on his experience to the rest of the lads.”

The first Test between India and England will take place on 15 November in Ahmedabad.

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