Swann and Pietersen haven’t always seen eye to eye
England off-spinner Graeme Swann has revealed that he believes England can defend their World Twenty20 title later this month in Sri Lanka without the help of Kevin Pietersen, even though he was named Player of the Tournament in 2010, when England won.
Swann stated that England had every chance of defending their title since the national selectors had found suitable replacements for Pietersen.
Even though Swann has had his issues with Pietersen in the past, he chose not to get involved in the ongoing controversy involving Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The Telegraph quoted Swann, as saying: “It is up to Kevin and the board to sort out, of course we can win it without any single player. Obviously he [Pietersen] is a world-class player and was the player of the tournament in the West Indies. Ideally he would still be a part of the team but hopefully when we get out there the guys who fill that position will do it well.”
With Pietersen out of the picture, Swann believes that England now have the opportunity of finding out what talent some of their younger players have.
“Last time we played without him, Alex Hales got 99. The pressure comes from outside. If people focus on it then it will build but for the guys who come in they are getting an opportunity and there is always pressure to perform when that happens. Look at Jonny Bairstow at Lord’s last week, arguably he was the stand-out batsman in the match and performed better than anyone else. Everyone will take a great deal of confidence from that,” Swann said.