Flower backs KP to come good
Andy Flower has backed Kevin Pietersen to rediscover his best form and play a leading role for England in the forthcoming Ashes series.
Last Updated: 26/10/10 10:18am
Andy Flower has backed Kevin Pietersen to rediscover his best form and play a leading role for England in the forthcoming Ashes series against Australia.
Team director Flower moved quickly to rubbish suggestions Pietersen's best days were behind him following a lean spell that has seen the 30-year-old fail to score a Test century since March 2009.
Flower remains confident in Pietersen's ability and has backed him to produce "even greater things", starting with the upcoming five-match tour of Australia.
"He wants to make a big contribution and this is a great stage on which to do it," Flower stated.
"I expect even greater things from him than what he's done already, so I look forward to seeing him do that.
"I don't think he's on the downward trend."
Flower went on to dismiss claims that Pietersen is a destabilising influence in the England dressing room.
Indeed, describing Pietersen as a "role model", he continued: "We are all quite comfortable with Kevin's role in the side, both as a player and as a team member."It's as simple as that from our point of view."
The England supremo also commented that Pietersen's recent stint with South African outfit KwaZulu Natal Dolphins had been a worthwhile exercise even though he had only managed scores of just 36 and a second-ball duck in two first-class innings.
"He could easily have taken the month off after quite a hectic 18 months," said Flower. "I think he feels confident after some of the work he's done out there."
Pietersen has just three warm-up matches to play himself back into form and fitness ahead of the first Ashes Test, which starts on November 25.
Should he do so, he can expect, along with Anderson, to be in the side in Brisbane, with Flower revealing today he already had an inkling about what he would like the XI to be.
He said: "There is room for flexibility but we obviously have an idea about what the XI might be."
Flower highlighted the importance of England's warm-up schedule in Australia, looking to learn lessons from predecessor Duncan Fletcher who was blasted for England's lack of meaningful matches in the build up to the 5-0 whitewash in Australia four year ago.
"Of course, we can learn things from the past but I don't think it's my place here to go into any mistakes that were made in the past," he declared.
"Obviously, there are inquests into every Ashes tour, and I think there was a very comprehensive one after the last one.
"And, who knows, there might be another one after this one.
"But we believe that we're well-prepared, we've covered the bases that we can cover, and we are looking forward to getting out there."