Pietersen will hit form, says coach Flower

ENGLAND coach Andy Flower has urged critics to be patient with Kevin Pietersen following his latest batting flop.<br /><br />The Hampshire ace has struggled for form since being sidelined for four months with an Achilles injury, which forced him to miss the last three Tests of the Ashes series against Australia.<br /><br />Since his return, Pietersen has scored just 52 runs from the first three one-day internationals with South Africa, including just three in the otherwise superb seven-wicket victory in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.<br /><br />Naturally, his form has prompted suggestions that he had been rushed back into the action too soon, but coach Flower insists he is happy with Pietersen&rsquo;s progress, and warns it&rsquo;s too soon to judge him.<br /><br />&ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t be too worried. I think he&rsquo;s going to take a little while to get back in form,&rdquo; Flower admitted.<br /><br />&ldquo;Being out for four months &ndash; when he&rsquo;s used to playing all the time &ndash; I think is a challenge he&rsquo;s going to have to overcome.<br /><br />&ldquo;He&rsquo;s a high achiever, an outstanding sportsman &ndash; and he will be very impatient to get back into his dominant ways again.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think we should be patient with him, because it&rsquo;s not easy just to walk back in and dominate straight away.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pietermaritzburg-born Pietersen makes a return to his former home ground on Friday as England look to build on their 2-1 lead and complete a famous series victory over the Proteas.<br /><br />And Flower says he wouldn&rsquo;t put it past the 29-year-old to cap his return to his homeland by getting back amongst the runs.<br /><br />&ldquo;He tends to want to do it his way,&rdquo; Flower went on. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s part of his strength, his make-up &ndash; what makes him a different and very powerful player for us.<br /><br />&ldquo;He will score heavy runs on this tour, and maybe Friday is the day. It could be his day.&rdquo;