Flower - No KP worries
Andy Flower thinks Kevin Pietersen is hungrier than ever to be an England match-winner.
Last Updated: 01/07/10 8:19pm
Andy Flower is not concerned about Kevin Pietersen's form, despite the England batsman being without a one-day international half-century since November 2008.
Flower, the England team director, is convinced there is no reason for a drought which goes back 17 months and would stretch to 16 innings if Pietersen should fail again in the final game of the NatWest Series against Australia at Lord's on Saturday.
Pietersen, who averages 18 in 11 innings in the 50-over format since his return from injury last winter, retains the full backing of the team management.
"I think he looks in superb form," said Flower. "His balance is excellent. He is hitting balls through the off side as well as I have ever seen him.
"I would not so much look at 16 innings. He just needs to find the balance in decision-making which allows him to stay at the crease long enough for a big score.
"He is very hungry to do that for England. He wants to be a game-changer and a match-winner."
The scene is set perfectly for Pietersen, at a ground which may well be his new home from next year following the end of his association with Hampshire.
"Saturday will be a lovely stage for him at Lord's," added Flower.
"It would be great for him to score runs. But I don't think it is a matter of him coming back into form - it is just a matter of him being able to stay long enough at the crease."
England lost for the first time in the NatWest Series at the Oval on Wednesday, trimming their lead to 3-1 ahead of the finale.
"I don't think we needed a reality check," said Flower.
"We have our feet firmly on the ground - we are ranked number five in ODI cricket.
"If it was needed by people who watch us, that is out of our control."