CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss admits he is “genuinely excited” about having Kevin Pietersen back in the England fold for the forthcoming tour of South Africa.<br /><br />Strauss’ England touched down in Bloemfontein on Sunday ahead of a gruelling winter tour which consists of four Tests, five ODI’s and two Twenty20 internationals.<br /><br />Pietersen is not with the squad yet, but is due to arrive in his native South Africa this Friday having missed the final three Tests of the Ashes series with an Achilles tendon injury.<br /><br />The Hampshire batsman is back fit and ready to play a major part in the tour and Strauss, who led his side’s first net session yesterday morning, can’t wait to welcome him back.<br /><br />“I’m genuinely excited about having him back,” he said. “We’ve missed his quality, we’ve missed his influence and I also think he’s going to come back very refreshed, hungry and motivated. When you have a player of that quality with that frame of mind, you can expect him to go out and play really well.<br /><br />“We don’t want him to come back before he’s ready, so he’s got to make sure he’s completely over his injury before we bring him back. But it’s going to be a great boost for us to have him back in the environment.”<br /><br />Strauss will perhaps be remembered for leading England through a gruelling Ashes series victory over Australia this summer, but the Middlesex opener insists his side will have to play better than ever to repeat the feat in South Africa.<br /><br />“Winning would be an incredible achievement, beating the number one side in the world at home, that’s as hard as it can get,” he added. “But we’re not going to get carried away with ourselves at this stage. There is a lot of hard work to be done if we want to get there and achieve that goal.”<br /><br />England kick off the series with a 50-over tour match against the Diamond Eagles on Friday.