Kevin Pietersen is "run-hungry" and could earn an England recall with his best form at county level, says Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart.
The batsman, 34, has rejoined Surrey for the 2015 season in a bid to return to the national side.
"We've signed Pietersen because he is run-hungry," Stewart told BBC Sport.
"If he can come back into our side and score heavily, he will ask questions of the selectors," the former England captain added, speaking on The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show on BBC Radio 5 live.
Following England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton said the decision to dismiss Pietersen had been taken because he was "disengaged" and "disconnected" from the team.
But Stewart said Pietersen was capable of performing to his best, if he was to return to the national set-up.
"He's been as good as gold with us," he said. "If he was a bad character, we wouldn't have had him. We hope he will be exactly the same this time, if not even more hard-working and desperate to score runs.
"Clearly if England do well against West Indies as we expect, then it will take an injury or a huge loss of form for a vacancy to become available, but all Kevin has said is that he's going to score runs, and then he will sit back and see what happens."