Cook: KP talks ongoing
Alastair Cook has revealed that England officials have been in Sri Lanka holding talks with Kevin Pietersen over his international future.
Pietersen was dropped for England's last Test against South Africa over a text message dispute and he has been omitted from the squad for November's tour of India.
Speaking for the first time on the subject as Test captain, Cook confirmed the issues between Pietersen and the England team are still unresolved.
But Cook is hopeful of a solution that will see Pietersen return to the England fold.
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier and cricket managing director Hugh Morris have been in Sri Lanka, where Pietersen is working as a television pundit for the Twenty20 World Cup.
"I did have a meeting with Kev and I have been involved in meetings. Clearly the issues haven't been resolved and that is why he is not available for selection at the moment," Cook said.
"Time hopefully will be a healer and we will be able to move on.
"The issues will still have to be resolved before Kevin plays for England again.
"At this present time the issues haven't been resolved and he can't be selected.
"Meetings are still going on in Sri Lanka at the moment. David Collier and Hugh Morris are out there as well.
"If the issues can be resolved, Kevin has said he is available for selection but at the moment that can't happen."
Cook conceded England's hopes of winning the four-Test series in India have been hit by Pietersen's absence.
"That is a given," said Cook, speaking at the launch of Buxton's 'Less Is Best' campaign.
"Kevin has proved in all conditions around the world that he is a world class player. His record suggests that in all forms of the game.
"It is a sad circumstance. Clearly he is a world class player and he is not playing for England at this precise moment in time.
"He will be missed but it gives opportunities to other players and they can do well. There is no reason these guys can't fill the gap there."
The uncapped duo of Nick Compton, who averaged 99 for Somerset this summer, and Yorkshire's Joe Root were called up to fill the void left by Pietersen's absence and Andrew Strauss' retirement.
Both have significant shoes to fill but Cook was in the same boat six years ago when he was called out to India as a late replacement for Marcus Trescothick.
Cook scored a hundred on his debut, as did Jonathan Trott in his first Test match.
"We are going on this tour to win. We have got to look forward now as a side and not look back.
"There is no reason these guys can't fill the gap there, just like when 'Tres' came home from India in 2006 he would certainly have been missed.
"The best advice I can give is that the game doesn't change. Sometimes as players you put on an England shirt and you think you have to play a different way and you don't.
"I haven't seen too much of Joe Root play but I have heard glowing reports and everyone talks about his temperament. One thing you definitely need as an international cricketer is a good temperament."