Pietersen sets sights on India tour
Kevin Pietersen has insisted he still has the hunger for one-day internationals after being rested from the current series against India. That decision from the England selectors was followed by reports that Pietersen wouldn't play again this year, but he says he hopes to be on the plane to India next month.
Before then there are two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies, at The Oval, which have been added to the end of England's season and Pietersen also has his sights set on them. He played against India, at Old Trafford, last week and is still seen as a key part of the 20-over outfit as they prepare to defend their world crown in Sri Lanka next year.
"I've got two Twenty20s versus the West Indies later this month at The Oval and then we leave on October 3 for the one-day series in India. I'd love to play in all six games in India," he told the Mail on Sunday. "You can never say you won't have an injury or that you're a dead cert for selection, but I'd love to play in every game, of course. I'm planning to play on for another four or five years, which will incorporate another couple of Ashes series."
Part of the reason behind Pietersen's rest has been revealed as a wrist injury that needs treatment and he believes that it is England's careful management of the players that has helped them rise to the top of the Test rankings.
"There's no doubt that England's success is also partly down to the fact that the players are rested when they can," he said. "International cricket can be a constant slog. I think India have got to that point now. The demands on the top players, especially if they play all three forms of international cricket, are immense. Maybe that's why we haven't quite got there yet in one-day cricket. But we're working on it."
Another player who isn't involved in all three formats for England at the moment is James Anderson, who hasn't been part of the Twenty20 side since the trip to South Africa two winters ago. Anderson, who took his 200th ODI wicket in the abandoned match against India at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, is keen to regain his place and is considering a stint at the IPL to press his case.
"My immediate priority is to play my part in winning the ODI series against India, but if I bowl well enough perhaps that will push me back into their thinking," Anderson told the Mail on Sunday. "If not, one option might be to try to play in the Indian Premier League next spring or elsewhere, something I'm really going to have to consider.
"With a maximum of only nine T20 matches for England between now and the next World Twenty20, time and games are running out for me to convince the selectors I still have something to offer," he said. "I understood my omission from the World T20 in West Indies last year on tactical grounds and the variety offered by Ryan Sidebottom's left-arm seam and swing, and the reasons for my absence ever since.
"I can also see where they are going with this younger-looking team," he added. "But I do feel I can transfer the skills I've developed in one-day and Test cricket to the T20 arena and it's frustrating that I haven't had the opportunity to play any domestic T20 cricket in which to try to press my case."
Anderson, 29, has not built up quite the same reputation in cricket's shortest format as he has in Tests and ODIs but has a reasonable record. With international commitments taking precedence, he also hasn't been helped by the fact that he's played just three domestic Twenty20 games in the last two seasons, his solitary match this summer coming against Durham in June.
"I'm sure the selectors know my feelings," he said. "I want to play T20 cricket for England, I'm disappointed that I'm not and it's down to me to persuade them I should be."