Flower urges patience over Pietersen

Andy Flower warns England must stay patient with Kevin Pietersen - even if the man himself finds it hard to do the same in his search for a major innings.

Pietermaritzburg-born Pietersen will be back at what was once his home ground this week as England seek to convert a 2-1 lead into a notable one-day international series victory over South Africa.



The timing might have been better, though, for the 29-year-old - still only five matches into his England comeback after four months out with injury and with just 52 runs from three attempts so far in this series.



England coach Flower insists he has no qualms about Pietersen's progress.



He advises it is unfair to expect too much too soon but nonetheless senses Friday's match at Kingsmead could be the ideal stage for England's inked-in ODI number three to re-announce himself.



"I wouldn't be too worried. I think he's going to take a little while to get back in form," said Flower.



"Being out for four months - when he's used to playing all the time - I think is a challenge he's going to have to overcome.



"He's a high achiever, an outstanding sportsman - and he will be very impatient to get back into his dominant ways again.



"I think we should be patient with him, because it's not easy just to walk back in and dominate straight away."



Flower is confident about the long-term prospects for a batsmen who still generates a noisy and hostile response from cricket crowds in his native country - and he has a sneaking feeling that first big score may be imminent.



"He tends to want to do it his way," he confirmed.



"That's part of his strength, his make-up - what makes him a different and very powerful player for us.



"He will score heavy runs on this tour, and maybe Friday is the day. It could be his day."



Pietersen could manage only three runs yesterday. But England had South Africa beaten anyway at Port Elizabeth, going one up with only one match to play on the back of James Anderson's maiden five-wicket haul.



"We played brilliantly," Flower recalled.



"Obviously the bowlers won the game for us, and 2-1 up with one to play is a great position to be in.



"We came here to win the series. It would be a huge achievement, and we would be very proud to take this one-day series."



That is an outcome at odds with world rankings, which have England as also-rans and their hosts among the world's leading sides.



"We know the South Africans are a very good side, number one in the world (in the Test rankings) - so to get into this position is very good," the coach said.



"Yes, we're inconsistent and we have some huge ups and downs - and we are trying to do something about that."



England have proven, however - admittedly following injured all-rounder Jacques Kallis' withdrawal from the series - that they can mix it with the best after all.



"Any team is vulnerable if you put them under pressure," Flower added.



"We have tremendous respect for them. But a player they have certainly missed is Jacques Kallis.



"Even though they're the number one side in the world, they can be beaten - and we've played some good cricket so far to get in the lead.



"We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. There is one big game on Friday, and then we'll reassess for the Test series."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor