Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has expressed his infuriation after Ian Bell was dropped for the upcoming Test series against South Africa.
Bell, who is the eight-highest run-scorer for England in Test history, has been unable to have an impact with the bat for quite some time, but Pietersen believes that the national selectors have made a grave mistake by leaving the veteran batsman out of the 16-man squad.
“I’m actually sitting here very, very, very annoyed,” Pietersen said in a video that was posted on Twitter. “How can you take somebody who has played over 100 Test matches – and you’ve got the biggest Test series of the year coming up, against the No 1 side in the world – and drop him. Leave him out of the tour.
“I mean it’s absolutely ridiculous. I understand people who say ‘he might have not scored some runs in a while.’ But you are going to play South Africa, in South Africa against one of the best bowling attacks that has bowled over the last few years.
“You have to take him because of his experience. You just have to take him. You cannot drop him before this. If he doesn’t score runs after South Africa then maybe I could sort of understand it. But I just do not understand the thinking behind this.”
Pietersen also accused the national selectors of being unfair on Bell as they had retained captain Alastair Cook throughout his run drought, which saw him fail to make a Test century for nearly two years from May 2013 to May 2015.
“Captain Cook himself, he can go two years without scoring a Test hundred but he can play every single game,” Pietersen said. “‘Belly’ struggles a little bit, his last hundred nine or ten Tests ago, but he’s not good enough to get on the South Africa tour.
“I think it’s pathetic and I think he’s been hard done-by here. People need to start having a look at themselves.”