Pietersen left out of England touring team
LONDON, Sept 18 – England will tour India next month without Kevin Pietersen after the brilliant but controversial middle-order batsman was left out of the squad despite attempts to heal a rift between the management and the player.
Pietersen (picture), who averages nearly 50 from 88 test matches, was dropped last month after admitting to sending controversial text messages to members of the opposing South Africa side.
Reacting to the news via a statement on his behalf, Pietersen said he was “disappointed.”
Explaining the decision, Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said: “Both ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues which led to his omission from the final Investec Test match against South Africa.
“These discussions remain private and confidential and, as there are issues still to be resolved, Kevin has not been considered for selection for the India tour.”
The England squad includes uncapped batsmen Nick Compton and Joe Root. Three spin bowlers, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar and Samit Patel, have been selected for the tour which begins next month and includes four test matches.
A tour to India will be a stern test for Alastair Cook, who replaced Andrew Strauss after the former captain announced his retirement from the sport after England lost their world number one test ranking to South Africa.
However, national selector Geoff Miller backed the new faces to thrive after being given their chance in the 16-man squad.
“Nick Compton has performed well consistently for Somerset in county cricket this season, made big hundreds and shown that he has the temperament and the technique to play at a higher level,” he said.
“Joe Root is a player who has been successful at every level and he deserves this opportunity to step up to the next level and press his case for a place in the test side.”
The decision to leave out Pietersen from one of the tougher tours follows his omission from the Twenty20 World Cup and the decision by the ECB not to offer him a central contract for the 2012-13 season.
“Kevin Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today’s decision having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB,” a statement issued on his behalf said. “Pietersen remains available for England.”
Team mate Ian Bell said Pietersen, scorer of 21 test centuries since making his debut in the triumphant home Ashes series in 2005, would be missed.
“He is a match winner and there are times when he plays a knock that not a lot of people in the world can play,” Bell told BBC Radio Five.
England: Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott. – Reuters