- England in India 2012-13
Trott: Pietersen's true test yet to come
Jonathan Trott has admitted the real test of Kevin Pietersen's reintegration into the England set-up is yet to come. While Pietersen's return to the England squad has proceeded smoothly in the low-pressure atmosphere of games against modest opposition at the start of the tour of India, Trott feels the Test series will present a tougher challenge.
Pietersen was dropped from the final Test of the series against South Africa and for the World T20 after it emerged that his relationship with some colleagues had broken down. After a period of regret and reconciliation, Pietersen has returned smoothly at the start of this tour.
But all parties know the true test of the patched up relationships will come in the heat of battle. Certainly Trott, who was one of the players to meet Pietersen in Oxford during the period of dialogue that led to his reintegration to the squad, feels that there may be days during the series against India, with the team under pressure and the side England toiling under a hot sun, when the strength of the "reintegration" will be challenged.
"Test cricket has got to start again," Trott said. "And when the pressure is on and the chips are down, that's when you need people to perform. That's when if cracks are tested then they widen and it becomes more obvious with regards to performance and team dynamics. So when the pressure is on that's when it happens and we've got to make sure we have all our ducks in a row and we're ready for that. But I think we're on the right track."
Trott suggested his own relationship with Pietersen remained cordial throughout the saga, but admitted a few of his England colleagues may have been "sucked into" the drama of the episode.
"I think a few players got sucked in," Trott said. "But I play the game for cricket, not for any other sort of agenda. So anything that doesn't involve me directly or the actual cricket I play I'm not interested in.
"I'm a very firm believer in harmony in the dressing-room and people pulling their weight and going and doing things the right way. I've my own ideas and Kevin and I have always got on fine. I think he's a fantastic player and it's great to have him back playing and committed to playing cricket for England again. It's a big thing.
"But as long as everything has been sorted out with regards to the reintegration - with the ECB, management and Kev - that's the main thing so we don't have these sort of mishaps in the future and it doesn't rear its head again."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo