England captain Alastair Cook is relieved to have batsman Kevin Pietersen back in the ODI side ahead of the five-game series against India, as Pietersen is one of the few sub-continent experts left in the team.
England will be without a number of senior players for the series, which starts on 11 January in Rajkot, as Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Jonathan Trott are all being rested. Pietersen, who averages nearly 42 in ODIs, will be a vital cog in the otherwise rookie line-up.
Pietersen has not played an ODI since February last year, when he retired from the format. The following months saw massive upheaval between the player and the ECB, but he returned to the Test side for the India series at the end of last year and played some valuable knocks.
Cook said of the experienced batsman's return to the 50-over team: "It is great to have KP back in the one-day side.
"I can't speak highly enough of the way he went about things in India. As a captain it is great to have a player like him back fresh and desperate to score runs for England.
"That hundred in Mumbai was such an important innings that proved his worth. Hopefully his experience in these conditions, with the Indian Premier League as well, is something we can use over the next three weeks."
Though India will go into the England series on the back of a series defeat to Pakistan, Cook is wary of underestimating the hosts even though his lads have the psychological advantage following their Test series win in December.
The Essex batsman added: "They are an incredibly strong side at home in their conditions. English sides in the past have struggled there in one-day cricket.
"That is similar to the challenge we faced in the Test matches. We hadn't had a great record there. This squad is keen to try and change that."