Kevin Pietersen to open for England in ODI series against Pakistan

Kevin Pietersen has scored 3, 903 runs in 123 One-Day Internationals for England Getty Images

Dubai: Feb 8, 2012

England coach Andy Flower on Tuesday confirmed struggling batsman Kevin Pietersen will open the innings during the four-match one-day series against Pakistan starting next week.

The 31-year-old batsman struggled with 67 runs in six innings during England’s 3-0 series whitewash against Pakistan and now hopes to get his form back in the one-day series.

“He (Pietersen) is going to be opening the batting for us in this series, and that should be really exciting to watch,” said Flower of the plans to open with Pietersen.

“We started with him in that position in the World Cup, and unfortunately he got injured and had to go home early. But he showed glimpses of what he could do,” said Flower.

Pietersen has so far scored 3903 in 123 one-day internationals. He opened the innings for England in the 2011 World Cup, playing four matches before returning home because of a hernia problem.

Flower praised Pietersen and hoped he will come good in one-day matches.

“He’s a very, very fine cricketer – a very dangerous cricketer – and someone we’d like to give the option of facing as many balls as possible in the limited-overs game.

“If he stays in long enough, he will win games for us in that position. It hasn’t worked out well for him at number four recently, but I’m really excited to see him embrace the challenge of opening.”

England announced one-day and Twenty20 squads on Tuesday, dropping Pietersen’s fellow middle-order batsman Ian Bell. (AFP)