Cook believes the England team must forget about the Pietersen saga and concentrate on beating South Africa in the ODI series
England ODI captain and opening batsman Alastair Cook has announced that his team have the credentials to beat South Africa even without flamboyant batsman Kevin Pietersen in the lineup.
Pietersen has not been considered for selection after he was found guilty of sending derogatory text messages about his team-mates to South African players during the recent Test series.
England will play five ODIs against South Africa, the first of which was abandoned due to bad weather.
Cook led from the front as England took back the top ODI team ranking after already having 10 wins in 2012 alone.
Cook also believes that Pietersen’s absence from the squad will not damage the team’s hopes of retaining their number one ranking against South Africa.
“There’s not really that much change here. He (Pietersen) hasn’t been around the one-day squad for a year or so now. It’s given other people an opportunity – obviously Ian Bell at the top of the order and Ravi has come into the middle order and played well. That is always encouraging when people step up to the plate like that. We are going to need more of that in these five games – that players at certain times in this series step up and be counted and put in a match-winning performance,” Cook said.
According to Sports24, Pietersen and Test captain Andrew Strauss are due to meet soon and resolve their differences, which will allow Pietersen to get his international career back on track.
Cook mentioned that positive talks between both parties were required if Pietersen were to have any hope of representing England again.
England must ensure that they beat South Africa in this series if they do not want to lose their top ODI team ranking to the Proteas.