Collingwood buoyed to Pietersen return

Paul Collingwood admits England have missed one of their star players of recent years, Kevin Pietersen, during his three-month absence from the game and will welcome him back with open arms after he joined up with the team this week.

The South African-born batsman will not feature in today's opening Twenty20 international against his former countrymen at the Wanderers as he takes the final steps towards completing rehabilitation from an Achilles injury that his kept him out since July.

Pietersen, who linked up with his team-mates in Johannesburg on Tuesday, will miss the game alongside Andrew Strauss and Stuart Broad - the regular captain no longer plays international 20-over cricket, while the all-rounder is injured.

But Collingwood said: "When KP comes back in the side, what he brings is a world-class player, it's as simple as that.

"He's a great character to have in the dressing room and that can only be a real positive for us because we've missed him over the past few months."

England have one more tour match against South Africa 'A' next Tuesday when Pietersen is expected to make his return.

Collingwood continued: "Absolutely (it gives us a boost). He's going to be available from the Potchefstroom game and we're all looking forward to him coming back into that starting line-up because we all know what he can do with the bat.

"You always miss a guy who can play the shots that he can play and we look forward to him coming back in."

Opposite number Graeme Smith has also welcomed the arrival of the England batting star.

He said: "I think it's terrific to have a full-strength England team in South Africa. It just bodes well for a really competitive one-day and Test series to come.

"Kevin adds to the spice, I guess. So he brings a spice and an interesting sort of facet to the tour, so it's great to have him here."

Pietersen is not the only local-born Englishman expected to take the field today with a similar career path.

There is also Jonathan Trott, a player some of the Proteas players may have faced during their earlier years and who has now decided to play in blue instead of green.

Smith said he expected both players to receive hostile receptions from the crowd.

He added: "I guess the public is going to be very supportive of South Africa. I think whenever you tour the world, if you're a big name player you always carry the can and carry the heat - I'm sure Kevin will carry that here.

"I don't think Jonathan will be any different. But I certainly hope there's a degree of respect and things are handled in the right spirit."

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam