Pietersen: New skipper Morgan keen to pick me

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND outcast Kevin Pietersen has risked alienating cricket chiefs further by claiming new one-day international (ODI) skipper Eoin Morgan would select him if allowed.

Pietersen has been discarded by England since his sacking last February, while a series of controversial revelations in his autobiography aggravated already fractured relationships.

The 34-year-old is England’s highest run scorer across all formats of the game and has consistently pressed his case for an international renaissance and the opportunity to add to his 104 Test and 136 ODI caps. “I know the current captain would love to have me in the England team,” said Pietersen. “I honestly believe I am batting as well as I’ve ever batted at the moment.”

England’s World Cup preparations continue with a triseries against hosts Australia and India, which gets underway on Friday, before the tournament itself commences next month.

Pietersen averages 40.73 in ODIs having amassed 4,440 runs and insists his ability and experience could be an influential tool within the England set-up, despite his persistent hankerings for a recall falling on deaf ears.

“I’ll be sitting on my sofa watching a series and I’ll get a message from a couple of the youngsters in the side saying ‘what shall I do tomorrow, how should I play?’ and that for me is quite sad,” he added.“I’d prefer to be standing at the other end, or in training with these guys, saying this is how we should and shouldn’t do it.”

England Lions skipper Jonathan Trott, meanwhile, struck his first international century since leaving last year’s Ashes tour with a stressrelated illness, finishing day three unbeaten on 176 as his side posted 507-6 against South Africa A.