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Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Tom Moody believes that England would be “would be foolish” if they don’t consider allowing former batsman Kevin Pietersen to make his international comeback.
Pietersen was recently released from his deal with the Sunrisers Hyderabad since he has opted to play an entire season of county cricket in order to boost his chances of donning the England jersey once again.
“A player of this stature on and off the field is a big loss to any side, particularly because he had so much to prove and he had such a good Big Bash, so he is in such quality form,” Moody told ESPNcricinfo from Perth. “It is disappointing but we also recognise his personal situation and I don’t think we can ever step in the way of anyone’s desire to want to continue, or at least pursue their international dream.”
However, Moody admitted that Pietersen will have to work extra hard to prove that he deserves a spot on England’s Test roster.
“The last 12-18 months of his international career was plagued with injury,” Moody said. “So he needs to prove his fitness and form. His record shows what he is capable of delivering. So you put those two things together and I think England will be foolish not to consider him as a serious option. Where he fits into the balance of their Test side is another question because their top six look quite settled at the moment.
“So things will have to happen with regard to that opening, but as we know, with our game things can happen pretty quickly. To have him eager, on the sidelines, fit and punching out runs game after game is only a positive sign for England.”
Despite what has happened in the past, Moody remains convinced that Pietersen will do everything in his power to ensure his comeback dreams become a reality.
“A chapter of his international career is still left and it was cut short and any chance is good enough at that level to try and scale that mountain again,” Moody said. “If it means to him that he has to go through the hard graft of building a huge amount of runs in the early part of the summer and if his opportunity doesn’t come till the back end of the summer or even after that, I am sure he’s prepared to give it a shot.
“I think his motivation is going to be very high, purely because he’s got an agenda, which is to score as many runs as he can to make it impossible for the selectors to ignore him. It is not going to be easy, at the start of the English summer the ball can seam around a bit, it is going to be hard work for a batsman.
“Those cold mornings, getting up with three jumpers on, is not as glorious as representing an IPL team in a blockbuster Twenty20 tournament. But he has got higher things on his list to address and that is to rejuvenate his international career.”
Although Pietersen hasn’t seen eye to eye with England’s coaches in the past, Moody feels that coaching players with different types of personalities is part of the “excitement of management”.
“I think in every team you are going to have different personalities,” he said. “We are all not cut out of the same cloth, that needs to be embraced. Quite often your best players are those challenging players who push the boundaries. At the end of the day that’s all part of the excitement of management, to mould those contrasting personalities into a successful team.”