Kevin Pietersen is “excited” to be the new opening batter for England in the upcoming World Cup.

The batsman, normally England’s number four, was bumped up to opener in the World Cup warm-up win against Canada and looks set to continue in that role when the competition begins in earnest next week.

Pietersen said he is relishing the new role.

“It’s really exciting. It’s a nice positive move by the team,’ he told Sky Sports.

“We spoke about it going into the end of the Australian leg of the trip. We feel it is a really positive move. We feel at the top of the innings is quite a good time to bat. It’s exciting. I am excited by it, the team is excited by it and we are looking forward to it.”

Pietersen takes the role from wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who struggled in the recent ODI series in Australia.

However England’s best batsman was keen to stress to Sky that he would not be approaching this as a pinch-hitting role. “I will just look to play my normal game. It is not a pinch-hitting role, it is just a role to go out there and play normally. It is something that is going to be a positive move for the England team in the World Cup.”