Kevin Pietersen has convinced England’s management of his undoubted good faith and commitment to their future, according to batting coach Graham Gooch
Gooch was the latest to spell out his personal belief that Pietersen’s contract wrangles and recent breakdown of relations with senior players and management are all in the past.
“I don’t think it’s an issue with Kevin,” he said.
“Everything has been done and dusted. From conversations with Kevin, and from what I’ve seen of the way he is working, he’s looking forward to this tour.”
Pietersen is today expected to play his second and final warm-up match before the start of the tough four-Test series against India.
The maverick superstar’s return to England colours last week, after his summer of discontent, brought 23 frenetic runs against India A.
He then sat out the tour match against Mumbai A, but will be hoping to fine-tune preparations for next week’s first Test in Ahmedabad in the four-day fixture against Haryana on an adjacent ground.
To a man, England have been on message about Pietersen’s well-being and the harmonious atmosphere in the camp since the 32-year-old completed his “reintegration” process to the satisfaction of coach Andy Flower and others.
Gooch doubtless remembers from his own playing days that rejoining team-mates after a break, as he had to following the rebel South Africa tour of the 1980s, is potentially a challenge in itself.
But he has no concerns about Pietersen’s ability to re-establish relations on and off the pitch.
“The only thing that counts is what’s in the future,” said Gooch. “What he’s going to do, how he’s going to interact with the team, what sort of performances he’s looking to give.
“I know he’s motivated; I know he’s focused; I’ve seen the way he’s been practising.
“A fit and strong Kevin Pietersen is a player to be reckoned with.”
Graeme Swann has flown home to be with his ill new-born daughter. He will be back for the first Test, with Monty Panesar given the chance to impress this week.