In the first of two bits of cricket news to come out today, it was revealed that Kevin Pietersen had completed his reintegration process and had been added to the squad to tour India. I said the other day that this was something the ECB needed to get sorted as soon as possible and fortunately they have done just that. Apparently all the reintegration that was needed was for him to talk to Flower, Cook and a few senior members of the side.
Despite my misgivings over Pietersen’s actions and his poor results in the subcontinent I do think this is a good thing. The matter can now be laid to rest and hopefully Pietersen will have learnt to think a bit before he speaks and acts. The ECB appear to have got all they wanted out of the situation with Pietersen dropping his demands to play in the full IPL and agreeing to play both forms of pyjama cricket and it cannot be argued that they did so in a way which hurt the team as Pietersen only missed one Test. They have clearly acted in the best interests of English cricket in the long term and should be applauded for their success.
Pietersen will presumably then be in the playing XI for the first Test, so I expect it will be back to him at four with Bell at five and I would hope Prior at six. With Bell likely to miss the second Test that would give an opportunity to one of the younger players in the squad as well.