London: England Test captain Alastair Cook has said Kevin Pietersen is desperate to prove his doubters wrong, and backed the controversial batsman to score a plethora of runs during the India tour.
Cook was a driving force behind the reconciliation process, which ended last week, with Pietersen being added to the squad for the eight-week tour to India.
Pietersen has been freed to play for his Indian Premier League franchise, the Delhi Daredevils, in the Twenty20 Champions League, which ends on Sunday, the day England, transfer from their training camp in Dubai to Mumbai.
Cook believes Pietersen regrets his past actions and would play against India with a clean state of mind.
“It has been a tough couple of months with Kevin but he is very contrite and desperate to be back playing and doing what he does best, score runs for England,” a leading daily quoted Cook, as saying.
“As a captain that is all I want. I want him to come back in the side and score match-winning runs like he has in the past,” he added.
“The meetings before the tour have been really helpful and key to this process. We are always going to have to work with every member of the side and different issues crop up but we know team spirit is important and every member of the squad and management will have to protect that,” he said.
Cook added: “During the meetings we have had with him these issues have been discussed. We are very confident he can fit into the team otherwise he would not have been added to the squad. Kevin comes back with a clean slate and he will be desperate to pull on that shirt and score runs.”