England's new batting coach Graham Gooch backs Kevin Pietersen to shine

By Lawrence Booth for the Daily Mail

Graham Gooch has played down concerns about Kevin Pietersen's lack of runs as England prepare for their four-Test series against South Africa.  

Pietersen has failed to pass 45 in any of his five innings on tour following a four-month injury lay-off. But Gooch, England's new part-time batting coach, believes it is only a matter of time before the runs return.

'I think, with any player - whatever their ability level - if you've been out of the game with injury, you've got to work hard to find your way back both mentally and physically,' said Gooch.

Kevin Pietersen

Class: Kevin Pietersen, frustrated (above) and playing a shot (below) needs time in the middle to regain his form, says ex-England opening batsman Graham Gooch

Kevin Pietersen

'There is no doubt that a player of his class will come back. It just needs time in the middle. He's been the mainstay of the England batting over the last four years - and I would expect him to continue.'

Meanwhile, English umpire Mark Benson is believed to be considering retirement after standing down from the second Test between Australia and West Indies in Adelaide.

The former Kent batsman is understood to be unhappy with the controversial new umpire review system.

Elsewhere, India have moved to the top of the world Test rankings following their innings-and-24-run win over Sri Lanka in Mumbai. The result wrapped up a 2-0 series victory.

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