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Disrespectful to India if England don't play best XI: KP

By Rediff Cricket
January 24, 2021 19:49 IST
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Kevin Pietersen voiced his opinion in favour of Jonny Bairstow who has been sidelined for the first two Tests against India in Chennai  

IMAGE: Kevin Pietersen voiced his opinion in favour of Jonny Bairstow who has been sidelined for the first two Tests against India in Chennai. Photograph: BCCI

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen made known his disappointment at the omission of Jonny Bairstow from the England squad for the first two Tests against India, saying it will be disrespectful to the hosts.   

Along with Bairstow, all-rounders Sam Curran and pacer Mark Wood have also been left out of the squad. 

Bairstow has been rested for the first two Tests as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) player management policy, which stresses on giving adequate rest to every English cricketer in a packed calendar year, which includes 17 Tests and the ICC T20 World Cup.

 

Earlier, former England skipper Nasser Hussain had questioned England's decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests against India next month.

The 40-year-old Pietersen said a win against India is similar to a victory against arch-rivals Australia and urged the selectors to play both Stuart Broad and James Anderson in the same XI.              

"Big debate on whether ENG have picked their best team to play India in the 1st Test. Winning in India is as good a feeling as winning in Aus. It's disrespectful to ENG fans & also @BCCI to NOT play your best team. Bairstow has to play! Broad/Anderson have to play!" Pietersen tweeted.

"The BEST England players will want to play as many games as possible against India, in India. PICK THEM! Then they go to IPL & earn everything they deserve. Cash is king for every sportsman. They're a business! They can have a break after that!"

In the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, England played Stuart Broad in the first Test, while in the ongoing second Test, Broad was rested and Anderson took his place in the playing XI.

Bairstow was left out of the 16-man squad for the first two Tests in India while openers Zack Crawley and Dom Sibley are part of that squad.

Under the leadership of Joe Root, England will be looking to show a spirited performance to bolster their chances of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship in June.

India and England are scheduled to play four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs. The tour will start on first Test, starting February 5 in Chennai.

England squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

 

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