Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Harder to Achieve Short-Term Success without Pietersen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Harder to Achieve Short-Term Success without Pietersen

Article excerpt

ENGLAND'S selectors barely have time to draw breath and concentrate their minds before making the first important decisions of the post-Kevin Pietersen era.

When England announce their limited-overs squad today to tour the West Indies and then bid for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, it will be less than two days since they called time on the controversial career of their record all-format runscorer.

By way of explanation for the decision to part company with Pietersen, new England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton cited the right time "to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but team ethic and philosophy".

England may believe that they have eliminated a random factor which was no longer worth the hassle.

They will be well aware too, though, that their immediate chances of success - most importantly in Bangladesh, but in the Caribbean too as they try to soothe memories of a 7-1 limited-overs scoreline in Australia - are now diminished without Pietersen.

It will do Durham's Ben Stokes, for example, no favours if he is encumbered with an unfair level of expectation as the batsman who must now turn short-format matches England's way as and when is required.

Instead, in picking a squad which will be centred on the primary task of a plausible challenge for only England's second global trophy rather than the immediate one of three oneday internationals in Antigua, responsibility - and therefore opportunity - will be spread.

Stokes will be one of several young batsmen given a chance to make a name for himself.

Joe Root ought not to be among them, after his struggles in Australia where it became increasingly evident he does not yet have the power game needed for the shortest format.

But England will know that Root's second-string off-spin could be handy in Bangladesh, even in the Caribbean when pitches can be expected to provide appropriate match preparation. POSSIBLE ENGLAND SQUAD (v West Indies, and for ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh): SCJ Broad (Captain), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JC Buttler (wkt), RS Bopara, BA Stokes, CJ Jordan, TT Bresnan, JC Tredwell, DR Briggs, GS Ballance, SR Patel, MJ Lumb, JW Dernbach. …

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