The Pietersen saga has not affected England’s team chemistry
With the ongoing debate about whether England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s international career is over or not, some of his team-mates have admitted that his absence in the squad will not make a big difference for future series.
Pietersen was left out of the final Test at Lord’s against South Africa after it was confirmed that the batsman had indeed sent derogatory text messages about his team-mates to South African bowler Dale Steyn and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.
Writing a column in The Sun, England off-spinner Graeme Swann said: “Just because you lose one player it doesn’t necessarily make you a weaker team, we all need to be pulling in the same direction – not 10 of us doing it and one of us not.”
Swann also pointed out that without Pietersen in the team, England’s ODI and Twenty20 results have been improving.
“Since Kevin retired from limited-overs cricket we are unbeaten in all matches in the shorter formats,” Swann added.
Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow replaced Pietersen on the roster and had an excellent showing in the final Test at Lord’s, making scores of 95 and 54 respectively.
When asked if the absence of Pietersen will have a negative effect on the squad, England all-rounder Tim Bresnan said: “It may be an even better side, it’s one of those things where a talented player has been replaced by another talented player. Why should we miss certain individuals just because they’re not available for selection?”.
Even though England lost their world number one Test team ranking to South Africa, Bresnan stated that the attitude in amongst the players was still positive.
“We met up yesterday, the mood in the camp was exceptional. It’s just like it always is. Always relaxed, quite focused, but we’ve always got the driving desire to get that win,” Bresnan said.
With the latest string of events, many cricket pundits believe Pietersen has reached the end of the line, but former England captain Michael Vaughan hopes that the batsman is given another opportunity to represent his country.
Speaking exclusively to BBC radio, Vaughan said: “If it’s true that he sent those texts it will take a long time for him to be allowed back, it’s been a mad, but also a very sad, week for the England cricket team. There are no real winners but one very big loser and that’s Kevin Pietersen.”