Captain determined to entice Harmison back to one-day fold

Kevin Pietersen performed some minor miracles during his first Test as England captain, but if he can achieve his next aim he really can be said to have the golden touch.

Pietersen, who won his first match in charge of England, having also become only the fourth captain to score a hundred in his maiden match as leader, now intends to persuade the England paceman Stephen Harmison to come out of one-day international retirement.

The 29-year-old Harmison quit 18 months ago in Australia, and recently reiterated his determination never to return to the short form of the game, but Pietersen is on a roll.

And after the six-wicket victory he said: "I [talked about him returning to one-day cricket] over lunch today. He said he would see but the travel has always been the problem for Steve, being away from his family.

"We've seen this week how important he's going to be for us. He's a huge player. I respect the man for the decisions he makes, but it would be lovely to have him coming in first change with the white ball. But you don't always get what you want."

Pietersen certainly feels he has a special relationship with Harmison, and he added: "There has to be special mention for big Steve. He came back in after a time out and he was magnificent.

"When I told Steve he was playing, I told him I wanted him to bowl fast, to bowl straight and to be the old Steve Harmison. I gave him the extra responsibility of getting runs at nine. He said he would do his best and his best was good enough for me this week.

"I am going to be looking after Steve as much as I can but I will also be making sure I get the best out of him. I think I know the sort of ways to do it."

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, certainly sees the importance of Harmison to England. "He has a good record. When he is bowling well he is certainly an asset to the England attack," Smith said. "If they are going to pick their team when he is playing like this then he has got to play."

Smith then switched his attention to South Africa's Test series in Australia in December, a rubber which pits the top two Test teams against each other. And "doing the impossible" is clearly catching, because Smith was prepared to do the unthinkable and contemplate the possibility of a series triumph Down Under.

"I think the confidence that we have gained and the lessons that we have learned is an important facet for us going to Australia," he said. "If we can round the season off with a win there then it would be a great achievement."

As for this defeat he admitted: "The emotion that we felt after winning at Edgbaston was always going to be difficult to [reproduce] and bring into this game. We were just lacking that oomph I think, that we had in the other games."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions