Pietersen briefly found himself exiled from the international set-up but after a much-discussed period of "reintegration" the country's most bankable star made his comeback in the Test tour of India before Christmas, averaging 48.28 in the 2-1 series success and hitting a memorable 186 in Mumbai.
"It is great to have KP back in the one-day side," said Cook. "I can't speak highly enough of the way he went about things in India. As a captain it is great to have a player like him back fresh and desperate to score runs for England."
Pietersen's short-term central contract, due to expire at the end of the month, is set to be extended soon and the England captain is among those championing Pietersen's cause.
England are without plenty of experience for the forthcoming five-match series, with Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Jonathan Trott all rested, meaning Pietersen's talent and knowledge of the sub-continent could prove crucial.
Pietersen has not played a one-day international since last February but Cook is delighted he has chosen to reverse his retirement from the format, a decision that came as part of reconciliation talks with the board.
Cook added: "That hundred in Mumbai was such an important innings that proved his worth. Hopefully his experience in these conditions, with the Indian Premier League as well, is something we can use over the next three weeks."
Pietersen's return to the 50-over game will be interrupted again when the side visit New Zealand in their next overseas assignment, with Cook confirming the decision is part of the same workload management programme that has seen Trott, Swann and Anderson left behind this month.
"We have to look after every player. KP is no different," said Cook.
"We have looked at things in the past and how we are going to improve them in the future. The rotation of certain players at certain times will benefit players' longevity."
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