Pietersen could be part of India tour

Kevin Pietersen could resume his England career during the tour of India after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that Thursday’s planned squad announcement had been put back until Tuesday.

Pietersen remains in international exile following a series of flare-ups that led to him being dropped, following the drawn second Test against South Africa at Headingley last month.

He is not in England’s squad that will defend their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka later this month, despite being man of the tournament when the team won in the Caribbean two years ago, and there had been speculation he would also be omitted from the four-Test tour of India starting in November.

But he appears to have been handed a lifeline after an ECB spokeswoman said that the selectors were not yet in a position to name a tour party.

One issue for the ECB is that whatever they decide with regards to Pietersen, will have consequences for the make-up of their Lions and Academy squads and could determine which players they ask to remain on standby in case of possible injury.

Although Pietersen made a brilliant, match-saving, 149 against his native South Africa, he was axed after it was revealed he had sent ‘provocative texts’ to opposition players, some of which were allegedly critical of the then England captain Andrew Strauss.

England coach Andy Flo­wer said there were ‘certain issues of trust and mutual respect’ that needed to be resolved between Pietersen and the England hierarchy. And it is clear from the comments of some members of the England team that Pietersen’s relationships within the dressing room is also in need of repair.

But with Strauss having since retired and England needing to find an opener to replace him alongside new captain Alastair Cook, the top order could struggle if Pietersen’s absence continues heading into an Ashes year.

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