Bridgetown, Barbados:No-one is more thankful than England coach Andy Flower that Kevin Pietersen has found his form ahead of the World Twenty20 final against Australia here on Sunday.
England, bidding to win their first major one-day title, head into the showdown with their oldest rivals on the back of some impressive displays by their star batsman.
Pietersen has made three straight scores of more than 40, for just once out, but his top-scoring effort in England's seven-wicket semi-final trouncing of Sri Lanka came after he'd made an 8,000 mile round trip to London to attend the birth of his first child.
But there was no sign of jet-lag against last year's losing finalists, with Pietersen appearing to have put a difficult 12 months behind after an Achilles injury ruled him out of most of England's 2009 Ashes triumph and he then struggled for runs on tour in his native South Africa and in Bangladesh.
"He's in really good form; he worked bloody hard on his game in Bangladesh," Flower said of the 29-year-old shotmaker.
"Even for great athletes like him, that sort of hard work stands you in really good stead," the former Zimbabwe batsman added.
"I think there should be a strong summer ahead for him.
"He's had an up-and-down 12 months - but from that hard work in Bangladesh, you see a man very confident in the way he's going about things."
While all eyes will be on Pietersen at the Kensington Oval on Sunday, Flower believes left-arm spinner Michael Yardy, who has formed an economical alliance with off-break bowler Graeme Swann, could also have an important role to play.
"We were looking for a left-arm spinning all-rounder, someone with a different angle of attack," said Flower, as he explained Yardy's selection.
"He's very experienced, streetwise, a leader. Coming into our side now, I'd call him an internal leader - just because of the way he carries himself.
"He's good under pressure, just a good man to have around."