Pietersen expects to make Tests
Kevin Pietersen has underlined his determination to be on the plane for England’s tour to South Africa.
Pietersen, 29, admits he is frustrated by setbacks in his recovery from surgery on his Achilles tendon. He has not played since England's victory in the npower Ashes Test at Lord's in July.
But he has not given up hope of being fit in time for the start of a South Africa trip that will feature two Twenty20s, five ODIs and four Tests.
England arrive on November 1 with the limited overs series beginning on November 13 and the first Test on December 16.
“I am trying to get as fit as possible as quick as I can,” said Pietersen. “I have had a few setbacks and I am really frustrated. It will be a couple of weeks before it totally heals over - the next 10 to 14 days - then I can start working really hard.
“The time scale is difficult but I will definitely be doing everything I can to get on that first plane to South Africa which is at the end of October.
“I might be a few days off that but I will certainly be in the Test squad. The one-dayers I am really pushing for, but the Twenty20s might be a rush.”
The Pietermaritzburg-born batsmen is understandably keen to play a part in the tour against a side currently heading the world Test rankings and sitting third in the one-day ladder.
“For obvious reasons, it is a very important trip for me,” Pietersen told Sky Sports at a promotion for Brylcreem. “For the team as well after the Ashes to take the momentum forwards. We want to have our best team out there.”
Pietersen missed the last three Tests of the npower Ashes and the one-day series against Australia and is continuing his rehabilitation while England compete in the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.
“I have missed a lot of cricket and it is frustrating now because I just want this right but I have got to make sure I come back fresh, having recharged my batteries, because the schedule is non-stop.”
Asked about England’s surprisingly strong showing in South Africa, with Andrew Strauss’ men already having booked a semi-finals spot, Pietersen said: “When both departments fire at once - the batting and the bowling - we are difficult to beat.
“One-day wise we have got some improvements to make but, if we play like we did on Sunday more often, we are a force to be reckoned with for sure.”