Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flintoff: Performances key for returning Pietersen

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff feels the Kevin Pietersen fiasco will soon be forgotten should Alastair Cook's team gain momentum on their upcoming tour of India.

Pietersen has not featured for England since the second Test against South Africa in August. The middle-order batsman found himself at the centre of controversy after he allegedly sent "provocative texts" to opposition players during the Headingley Test.

The 32-year-old was dropped for the final Test at Lord's and then left out of the party which travelled to Sri Lanka to defend England's World Twenty20 title. He was also left out of the squad for the Test tour of India.

However, after a series of meetings with the England Cricket Board and Cook about his "reintegration", Pietersen has been handed a recall and is in line to face India in the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15.

Flintoff, who will undoubtedly be tuning in for sport updates, says the early tension in the camp will soon disappear if England begin the tour with a bang.

"I'm sure there'll be a few words in the dressing room, in certain ears, to make sure it's a smooth transition going back in," the 34-year-old told a latest sport news network.

"But in a few months' time, if we start performing well in India, this will be forgotten."

However, the former Lancashire star was keen to urge caution.

"What tends to happen is that when a team's doing well, everyone talks about the team spirit, togetherness and how everyone gets on. It's tested when you don't perform," added Flintoff, who scored 3845 runs and took 226 wickets during his 79-Test career.

"When you start having a few bad results, little groups form in the dressing room and people start talking, and that's when it can happen."

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