Stuart Broad suggests a convivial tete-a-tete may help his old captain Andrew Strauss and former team-mate Kevin Pietersen settle their differences.
Broad insists there is no relevance for the current England team in Strauss’ description of Pietersen as “an absolute c**t” when he thought he was off-mic during television commentary.
Pietersen and Strauss famously did not always see eye to eye as captain and senior batsman but, in a present and future without either in the England team, Broad has the freedom to advise they simply have a polite and private rapprochement over a glass of wine. He anticipates the overture is most likely to come from Strauss.
“They live pretty near to each other,” Broad said on BBC Radio 5 Live. “I’m sure Straussy will have KP round for a glass of white or red and discuss what’s happened.”
Pietersen and Strauss fell out in 2012 after the former admitted sending “provocative” text messages about his captain to members of the touring South African team.
Pietersen spent several months outside the England team before being ‘rehabilitated’ in time to return the following winter under new captain Alastair Cook, Strauss having retired in the meantime. It was in his role as a pundit that Strauss inadvertently broadcast the obscenity on Saturday when he thought he was having a private conversation while he and a colleague were off air during the MCC’s televised fixture against the Rest of the World to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lord’s.
Pressed as to the probability of a clear-the-air chat, Broad predicted the offer would be made – but appears less sure it will be taken up. “I’m sure the invite will go out ...” he said.
As for the impact on England, as they prepare for the first Investec Test against India in Nottingham, Broad added: “Two ex-England cricketers having a bit of an issue is not something that is relevant to the England changing room.”
Broad also backed Cook to find his form again at Trent Bridge.
The England captain’s best score in the recent series loss to Sri Lanka was 28, extending his run without a Test hundred to almost 14 months. The Essex man’s captaincy has also come under scrutiny with the likes of Shane Warne, Geoffrey Boycott and Pietersen all criticising the 29-year-old in the wake of a recent run of poor results. But it is his form with the bat that will draw the most focus in Nottingham, although paceman Broad insists the recent lean run is just part of the game.
“He’s obviously worked hard in the nets as Cooky does, he’s always first in and last out,” Broad told Sky Sports News. “He likes to hit a lot of balls pre-series and that’s no different this week. He just needs that change of luck, all cricketers go through it from time to time and it’s Cooky’s turn. We know he’s world class, we know he’s played over 100 Test matches with the record he’s got and there’s no doubt that will change for him.”
The series defeat to Sri Lanka was the first time England had lost to the tourists on home soil, but Broad insists confidence in the camp is high as they prepare to take on an India team they beat 4-0 in 2011. “We lost the series against Sri Lanka but we played a lot of good cricket in that series,” he said. “We did some brilliant stuff with some debut hundreds and that sort of thing. The confidence is good coming into this series.
“Obviously, the last time India were here it was probably the best series we have played for years, but a lot of that team has changed.
“Some players can take some confidence from that but the majority of players have changed from that series so this is a completely fresh series. We’ve got to restart and go again.”
National selector James Whitaker has suggested that Broad and fellow quicks James Anderson, Ben Stokes, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes could all see Test action in a packed summer schedule. The need for a large pack of pace bowlers is emphasised by England’s lack of a front-line spinner, but Broad is confident Peter Moores’ men will cope.
“A lot depends on how we bowl. The important thing will be to keep the bowlers as fresh as we can,” Broad added.