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Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Flower tips Kevin Pietersen to shine against Bangladesh

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen will be looking to score heavily in Bangladesh

England coach Andy Flower believes batsman Kevin Pietersen will regain his top form in the tour to Bangladesh.

The Hampshire star has struggled since an Achilles injury prematurely ended his 2009 Ashes series.

Against South Africa he only scored 177 runs, averaging 25.28, but he did make a crucial innings of 81 at Centurion.

With the series against Bangladesh starting on 23 February, Flower told BBC Sport: "I think the Bangladesh tour could come at just the right time."

Pietersen has struggled since coming back from complications with surgery that included an infection, but Flower feels that the 29-year-old needed time to readjust to the demands of international cricket.


"I think he is feeling his way back and at the beginning of the tour I said we would have to be patient with him," he added.

"Yes, he went quiet in the last couple of Tests against South Africa and I think it is a combination of the fact that it was his first series back and it was against the number one side in the world, who have a potent bowling attack. Certainly Morne Morkel surprised us with his quality.

"He has made a couple of significant contributions and his 81 and 40 at Centurion (as England fought to save the game) were significant momentum shifts towards us saving that game."

Flower added: "I think a combination of having to work things out technically and having a quieter tour has dented his confidence and that combination has probably hurt him a bit.

"But he is very proud about his game and he is very proud to play for England."

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see also
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England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
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