Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham agree that Kevin Pietersen has only himself to blame after being left out of the squad to tour India.
Pietersen was absent from yesterday’s list of 16 names, having also been left out of the final Test against South Africa and the World Twenty20 squad after sending “derogatory” text messages to South Africa players earlier in the three-Test series.
And Botham said: “It is no real surprise at all. It is a case of moving on. He is a great player. It is his choice, it was a strange thing to do to send those messages. If he held his hands up straight away and apologised then fine, but he didn’t. It’s very difficult for all parties.”
Hussain added: “It’s a shame because any time you tour India you want the best cricketers and best players of spin.
“Pietersen fits both categories. India will be a lot happier with Kevin Pietersen not going out there, but most of the making of this has come from Pietersen, who has made some horrendous errors.
“Whenever he comes back, maybe the sooner the better, the team have got to tell Kevin what their problems are with him and Kevin has to say what his problems are with the team. The sooner they kiss and make up the better.
“Kevin Pietersen has got to adhere to what [captain Alastair] Cook and [team director Andy] Flower want. We are talking about good men.
“What they are doing is what they think is right for English cricket and if they think it’s best Kevin stays on the sideline, I agree with them. “Kevin Pietersen needs England, no doubt about that. There are signs they made up, but maybe it is a little bit too soon.”
Botham, though, admits Pietersen will be able to fill his time profitably playing Twenty20 in India and Australia and believes it is time for England to plan for a long-term future without him.
“He will do very well. He will cope and will go off to play the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash,” he said. “England will be okay. We had a great time, he has been a great player but we move on. It’s not worked out. No ifs and buts, the reality is he isn’t going.”
to tour India from 25 October to 28 January. Five Tests, five ODIs and two T20s.
Alastair Cook (capt) Essex
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Notts)
Nick Compton (Somerset)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Monty Panesar (Sussex)
Samit Patel (Notts)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Graeme Swann (Notts)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)