Key man Pietersen expected to be fit for South Africa tour, says captain Strauss

CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss believes Kevin Pietersen will be fit for the forthcoming winter Test series in South Africa.<br /><br />Pietersen has not played since undergoing an operation on an Achilles tendon injury during the Ashes series in July, and was forced to miss this month&rsquo;s Champions Trophy after suffering a foot infection.<br /><br />Strauss leads his men on a tour of South Africa next month for two Twenty20 and five one-day internationals against the Proteas, followed by four Test matches, starting at Centurion on 16 December.<br /><br />And the skipper is hopeful that key batsman Pietersen will be fit and ready to face his native country.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is looking encouragement at the moment,&rdquo; Strauss said yesterday. &ldquo;The advice we have is that he should play a full part in the Test series and also some of the one-dayers as well.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been frustrating for him to be out for so long. He&rsquo;s a massive player for us and having him in the side in South Africa is going to be a huge reassurance for us.&rdquo;<br /><br />Strauss has also dismissed speculation that he will be rested for the tour of Bangladesh in February and March to ease the burden of a hectic schedule.<br /><br />&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know where that story has come from,&rdquo; Strauss continued. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not something we&rsquo;ve sat down and talked about at this stage.<br /><br />&ldquo;We need to see where we are as a side after South Africa. At some stage, with the schedules we&rsquo;ve got, players will need a rest.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;d be very surprised if I&rsquo;m not there for part of the tour, if no the whole tour.&rdquo;