Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 12:57am
South Africa hope England leave Jos Buttler out of Tests claims Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen also believes he could still make an impact for England at the T20 World Cup in March, that the Test team will struggle against South Africa and says he is keen to explore a coaching career when he eventually hangs up his bat.
Buttler was dropped for the third Test against Pakistan three weeks ago after averaging only 8.5 runs from four innings in the UAE, but responded in stunning fashion during the one-day series.
In the final match, Buttler smashed England's fastest ever one-day century, in 46 balls, and finished 116 not out as Eoin Morgan's side took the series 3-1.
Pietersen has just returned from South Africa, where he has been playing T20 for Sunfoil Dolphins, and says England's opponents are delighted at the prospect of Buttler being left out.
"He should definitely be there playing but I don't see how they can play him in the first Test match, having dropped him from the last one," said Pietersen, speaking at the launch of the KP24 Foundation.
"And I know South Africa are really, really happy about that. I've been there, I was there for the two weeks when they dropped Buttler.
"And everyone in South Africa was like, 'You beauty, we don't have to bowl to a bloke who can win a Test match in a single session'.
"England can say they dropped him because he needed time away but he didn't have any time away, he got straight into an England shirt and scored massive runs 10 days later.
"I didn't like seeing him dropped, he shouldn't have been treated like that but Jos is a wonderful player and they have to do the business now."
An international recall for Pietersen was effectively ruled out in May by director of cricket Andrew Strauss, who said there remained a "massive trust issue" between the pair.
Pietersen, however, has enjoyed an impressive end to the year, scoring 342 runs in four T20 innings for the Dolphins, and the 35-year-old refused to rule out an England return.
"I'm 35, I've got years left of playing," Pietersen said.
"I've been very lucky - in all the franchises I've played in the last few years I've top scored in all of them.
"If the World T20 happens it happens. Of course I'd love to help Morgy and I'd love to go out there and do well.
"We won one in 2010 and if an opportunity came up I would grab it with both hands. Do I think I could still make an impact? 100 per cent I do. Of course."
England face a formidable task against South Africa, currently the top-ranked Test side in the world, and Pietersen believes Alastair Cook's men lack strength in depth for the four-match series.
"I think the guys will go OK but is the squad strong enough to beat a South Africa side playing the way they play at home? I'm not so sure," Pietersen said.
"I know how hard it is playing there. They're the only team I never beat in a series in my whole career, which is quite amazing, so that's how tough it's going to be.
"There are some good players in the England squad but the strength in the depth is a problem. I don't think our batting is as strong as I would like to see it."
Pietersen will launch his foundation's Sprite 24/7 Project this week, helping underprivileged teenagers from seven countries take part in a 10-day cricket camp in Dubai.
The veteran batsman has always enjoyed giving advice to younger players and admits a future coaching career is not out of the question.
"I would be stupid to say I don't want to get into coaching after I stop playing in some capacity," Pietersen said.
"I like doing it. I like helping guys progress and get better. I've done it throughout my career when I've played.
"We get better together because it's good for my game as well, having forgotten a lot of stuff I learned when I was 22. It's a win-win helping others."
Pietersen played for Surrey last season in a bid to score his way back into the England side and despite that possibility seemingly over, he is open to returning to the club.
"If I play anywhere, it'll be at this wonderful ground with the legends next door - all the guys who run the club at Surrey," Pietersen said.
"I love it here. If anything was to happen it would 100 per cent be here but there haven't been any talks in that direction yet."
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Kevin Pietersen is open to playing for England again at the T20 World Cup in March.