London: Kevin Pietersen has expressed his desire to captain England again, saying he had given the option serious thought since rumours emerged that Andrew Strauss may give up the limited-overs post. More than two years have passed since the end of Pietersen's brief and tempestuous reign as England captain, and he has now stated his readiness to have another crack at the role, at least in ODIs.
"If the one-day job becomes available, I would definitely be up for it," Pietersen said at the launch of the new England ODI shirt. "A lot of water has passed under the bridge since I last did it and it's something I've thought about in the past few weeks since the rumours surfaced about Andy Strauss stepping down.
"Second time around I think I could do a real good job as I'd be older and wiser, and would handle a few things a lot differently. I didn't think I was too bad first time around - we had our moments against South Africa, and it took a century of freakish brilliance from Sachin Tendulkar to deny us a famous Test win in Chennai.
"So if the opportunity came up and I was asked I would say, 'Thank you very much, I would love to have another go'."
Pietersen is the second England player to throw his hat into the ring for the job, should it become available, after the opening batsman Alastair Cook made similarly hopeful noises last week. Reflecting on the circumstances of his departure from the job in January 2009, Pietersen said he had been hurt, but has now moved on. He also said there would be no problem forming a strong leadership axis with the England coach, Andy Flower.
"I wasn't too despondent about why it ended, or even how it ended, but I was certainly hurt by some of the negative publicity which followed. Some of the nonsense about a divided camp, and players being for or against me, was deeply hurtful and it took me a while to get over it," said Pietersen.
"But time's a great healer and I'm ready to do it again if the opportunity arose. I respected Andy Flower as a player, and as a coach I respect him more than ever now.
"He's done an amazing job since he took over and he deserves all the plaudits. He has moulded the team in a very respectful manner, in an atmosphere where everyone is entitled to voice an opinion - whether you have played 100 Test matches or just one. It's a happy ship, Andy keeps it on a very even keel, and my relationship with him is absolutely fine - both on a technical level and as a person."