Flower urges Pietersen to set sights on No.1 spot

Last Updated: May 08, 2011, 15:26 PM IST

Birmingham: England team director Andy Flower urged Kevin Pietersen on Saturday to put aside any disappointment at missing out on the captaincy and focus instead on climbing to the top of the world batting rankings.

The former England skipper did not feature in a revolutionary three-man captaincy system announced on Thursday in which Andrew Strauss will captain the test side with Alastair Cook installed as the one-day skipper and Stuart Broad im charge of the Twenty20 team.

"I think Kevin may be disappointed not to be involved in the leadership team for the next few years," Flower told reporters.

"However, we are very keen for Kevin to become the leading batsman, not only in the English side but in world cricket.

"He is ambitious and that is a great thing. He is an outstanding talent. He could be one of the best if not the best batsman in the world and we want him to regain that status because that will help him feel fulfilled and it will help us win cricket matches."

Pietersen, 30, has scored 5,666 runs at an average of 48.42 in his 71 Tests, and 3,648 at 40.98 from 114 one-day internationals.

Flower dismissed rumours that Pietersen could quit one-day cricket.

"He wants to play one-day international cricket, though he is entitled to change his mind, but at the moment he wants to play," Flower said. "I don`t think (focus) is an issue. I speak with him all the time and he is committed.

"He is an integral part of our success in the next few years. I enjoy working with him and I think he is a high quality cricketer and he can make a significant contribution to our success. I really want him to fulfil his potential.

"We all have to finish at some stage and when he looks back on his career I want him to feel proud about what he has done. I want him to feel proud that he has been one of the best batsmen in the world and that he has also been part of a special team.

"So there are all these very good things for him and us to look forward to."