Morgan sings KP praises
Eoin Morgan has hailed the influence of Kevin Pietersen as England prepare to begin their one day international series against Australia.
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Morgan will lead out an England side at Headingley on Friday missing regular skipper Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, with all those players rested following the Ashes.
But Pietersen will take his place in a relatively inexperienced team and Morgan is happy to have the Surrey batsman on board.
"Kev offers a hell of a lot as a senior player and as a batsman," he said on Sky Sports News.
"As a senior player he leads by example with the confidence in which he goes about his business. People rub off on that and that's crucial.
"When I first came into the team he was one of the more senior players and he was a guy you could turn to and ask difficult questions or have no hesitation in turning to him for a positive option.
"In that regard I think he's fantastic to have in the squad and back in for the one-day series."
With Cook and Bell both missing for this series, Pietersen may be given the chance to open the batting for England, a role he has filled before in the 50-over game.
But Morgan insists he is not the only option at the top of the order, and said: "It's certainly an option. Kev's opened the batting for England before and done well.
"He also bats in the middle-order as a very explosive player. He's very versatile in that regard so we'll be looking at both options."
He added: "They're (the openers) filling big shoes.
"Cooky and Belly have been very successful now for a couple of years and they've been a huge part of our success as a one-day team
"With the two new balls in one-day cricket it makes that role more difficult now, so it's an important role and one that we recognise needs filling."
While Morgan and Pietersen will be expected to fill leadership roles within the group, the Middlesex man is excited to see young players coming through and could hand a new cap to Sussex bowler Chris Jordan on Friday.
"Those games (as captain) in particular I've really enjoyed," he said. "The things I've most enjoyed about them has been handing out caps to debutants.
"It's fantastic to see guys being rewarded for a lot of hard work over a number of years and being rewarded by pulling the England shirt on and that makes me smile every day.
"We've got a young, talented, exciting team playing in this series and it can be a stepping stone looking ahead to the 2015 World Cup.
"We want to win that World Cup and that's a huge goal of ours.
"This series in particular is going to be a hard fought series for both sides and really exciting at the same time."
Morgan did not feature in the Test series with the top-order seemingly set and Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes both preferred to bat at six.
But with the next Ashes in Australia just months away, Morgan has not ruled out muscling his way back into the five-day side.
"At this stage of the summer I'm taking every innings as an opportunity to score runs and to prove what I'm capable of doing," he said.
"And if that opportunity arrives at the end of the summer I'd be a very happy man.
"At this time of the year there are very few games left in the season, so every opportunity for me is obviously a big one in trying to score runs and show people what I'm capable of.
"The summer has been a bit of stuttery one for me, I've been injured a lot and missed a lot of cricket, so I'm just enjoying my batting."
England (from): EJG Morgan (captain), KP Pietersen, MA Carberry, IJL Trott, JE Root, RS Bopara, JC Buttler (wkt), BA Stokes, JC Tredwell, ST Finn, WB Rankin, LJ Wright
Australia (from): MJ Clarke (captain), AJ Finch, SE Marsh, SR Watson, GJ Bailey, AC Voges, MS Wade (wkt), JP Faulkner, MG Johnson, F Ahmed, CJ McKay, NM Coulter-Nile, JR Hazlewood, GJ Maxwell
Umpires: A Dar (Pak) and R Illingworth
Third umpire: S Ravi (Ind)
Match referee: J Crowe (NZ)