Former England captain Michael Vaughan thinks Kevin Pietersen should be recalled to the national side. The South African-born batsman was the third-highest run-scorer in the recent Big Bash competition in Australia and recorded an eye-catching 74 against the Sydney Thunder in the final on Sunday (24 January).

Pietersen has not been selected for the national side since the 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia, following a breakdown in the relationship between himself and the then-England coach Andy Flower. Although there appears to be no hope of an international return for the batsman, Vaughan believes he merits a place in England's squad for the T20 World Cup in India.

Asked if England will pick the in-form star, Vaughan told the BBC: "They won't but I would because of the way that he's playing and the level of performance that he's showed. In front of massive crowds in Australia his batting won the semi-final and almost the final."

Vaughan thinks Pietersen's recent performances in the domestic T20 competitions in West Indies, South Africa and Australia deserve a place in the England squad for the upcoming World Cup in India. Pietersen was named man of the the tournament during England's only previous triumph at a major ICC tournament, the T20 World Cup in 2010.

"A year ago he wasn't playing well enough and he was nowhere near the England team," Vaughan said. "But the T20 World Cup starts in a few weeks' time and I personally want the best team out there for England."

In 2015 Pietersen said he was keen to earn a recall to the England squad. However, he also accepted that his future may lie in playing T20 competitions. "As long as I love batting, then I want to bat at the top level," he said. "As soon as I stop loving my batting and loving practising then I'll stop. When I think I can play the way I have over competitions all around the world then of course I would love to play Test cricket.

"If that can't happen then I will just keep plying my trade anywhere I can over the next few years."