Morgan: Swift Pietersen return would be good for England

ENGLAND batsman Eoin Morgan hopes exiled colleague Kevin Pietersen can earn a recall to the international set-up, but insists the one-day team have not missed his explosive hitting.

Pietersen remains frozen out after his career-threatening row with Test captain Andrew Strauss and the England hierarchy, as England prepare for today’s second one-day match against South Africa in Southampton.

Coach Andy Flower has warned there will be no swift welcome back to the fold for the outspoken South Africa-born star, although Morgan hopes the rapprochement is a matter of when, not if.

“Kevin is a world-class cricketer and any team around the world would want him in their side, but there are issues surrounding him at the moment and it will take time to resolve them,” he said.

“Personally I didn’t find him difficult but I’ve not been around the Test team a lot. Obviously the quicker that happens the better.”

Pietersen’s absence – initially following his retirement from one-day internationals, a decision he has since reversed only to be omitted – has not stopped England topping the world ODI rankings.

“We’ve played fantastic cricket. The guys who have replaced him have done particularly well,” added Morgan, who played in Friday’s abandoned series opener in Cardiff.