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KP shouldn't be rushed back

Andy Lloyd
KEVIN PIETERSEN joins up with the England camp today after surgery on an Achilles tendon injury, but don&rsquo;t expect our star batsman to be rushed back into the action in South Africa.<br /><br />Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, Pietersen is a class act, probably the only world-class performer in the England ranks, but forcing him into a premature return would do more harm than good for the selectors &ndash; especially with the top order enjoying being in the runs in his absence.<br /><br />Already, we&rsquo;ve seen Jonathan Trott and Joe Denly hit decent knocks of 80-plus, while captain Andrew Strauss has three figures to his name, against the Warriors on Sunday.<br /><br />That gives the selectors a nice selection headache for the forthcoming one-dayers, but there is plenty of time as far as Pietersen is concerned and you can be assured there will be no rash decisions.<br /><br />Despite a 20-over defeat in Johannesburg yesterday, England have started the tour in encouraging form. Winning breeds confidence in any walk of life and Strauss&rsquo; men go into the head-to-heads with the Proteas in good spirits. <br /><br />I can remember tours of India, Australia and South Africa where England have not started well and it takes a lot to turn things around mid-tour. Strauss and the selectors will be pretty pleased about their early form.<br /><br />Trott and Denly are not the only two to catch the eye &ndash; fast bowler Sajid Mahmood is also looking the part after two-and-a-half years in the international wilderness.<br /><br />With Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison gone and Stuart Broad struggling with injury, a bowling place is up for grabs and Mahmood, with his reduced pace and more consistent line and length, looks a pretty good option right now. <br /><br />Sajid has been a raw talent for too long now, but with Lancashire colleague James Anderson alongside him, he could well be England&rsquo;s gem.<br />