Former England Test captain Andrew Strauss has revealed he's pleased to see Kevin Pietersen developing into a mentor for a group of emerging players within the Test and ODI squads, reports EuroSport.
Strauss, who endured a rather topsy-turvy relationship with Pietersen throughout his captaincy, seconded Ashley Giles' stance that the South Africa-born batsman is indeed proving to be an influential and inspiring figure for the younger players.
Often described as a difficult character, Pietersen has emerged as an unlikely mentor for the likes of Michael Carberry, Jamie Overton, Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan in England's ODI squad.
Pietersen's new role, however, doesn't surprise Strauss, who hailed his former team-mate's ability to deal with young players.
"He [Pietersen] can be really good with young players actually.
"I think it's good that he's playing this one-day series, and him opening the batting in one-day cricket is an interesting and potentially quite explosive option for England to use.
"Given that he's had injuries, and whatever, it's quite nice for him to have a good run of cricket.
"I hope he is playing that mentoring role and playing it well," said Strauss, who then admitted "I suppose Kevin is a complicated character."
However, despite the dark side of his persona, Pietersen was described as a very influential and helping figure by Strauss.
"He [Pietersen] can be fantastic, really good and engaged in the dressing room and really go out of his way to help other people at times.
"You want to see him do that, because he's at the stage of his career now where he's got a lot to offer those young players coming through - and they all look up to him as well.
"So it's good to hear that he's doing that."
Meanwhile the former England captain believes that KP is an intriguing choice as ODI opener and one Ashley Giles should pursue, particularly considering than Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, England's more established opening partnership in ODIs, are being rested for the series.
"Everything in the back of Ashley Giles' mind at the moment is thinking '2015 World Cup in Australia'," said Strauss
"So to have a look at Pietersen at the top in these sort of conditions is quite useful for him."
"Obviously, Cook and Bell have done a good job at the top themselves... so he's got options up his sleeve."
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