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World T20: Pietersen doesn't expect England to reach semis

March 12, 2016 12:43 IST
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IMAGE: England captain Eoin Morgan looks dejected as he leaves the field after the World Cup defeat against Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images.

Former captain Kevin Pietersen is not expecting England to reach the semi-finals at the World Twenty20 in India.

England have reached the final four at the Twenty20 showcase just once and that was back in 2010 when Pietersen helped them claim the trophy in the West Indies.

Despite mixed results in Twenty20 internationals of late - England lost a recent series 2-0 to South Africa -  a lot is expected of Eoin Morgan's men on the sub-continent as they attempt to make up for their embarrassing early exit at the World Cup in Australia in 2015 when they failed to make the knockout stages of the 50-over tournament after losing their decider against Bangladesh.

But Pietersen is unsure whether England will be able to match their exploits from 2010 and has earmarked four other countries as the teams to beat in India.

Speaking in a Q&A with the Telegraph newspaper, Pietersen declared India, the West Indies, South Africa and Australia as the top four teams at the World Twenty20.

He also said that Morgan would have to fire if England were to go deep into the tournament.

"I think England’s game changer at the World Cup has to be Eoin Morgan," Pietersen said.

"He is captain, has played a lot of IPL cricket, is used to the conditions and with his experience batting at number four he has got to be the game changer."

Pietersen tipped Virat Kohli to be the leading run scorer at the tournament and Indian teammate Ravi Ashwin to take the most wickets.

While Pietersen didn't rule out making a return to the international fold with the South African team when he becomes eligible to play for his country of birth in 2018, he said the thought of doing so was not at the forefront of his mind.

"Of course I have thought about it," he said.

 "Lots of people talk about me playing for South Africa, but at the moment I am happy doing what I am doing."

England's World Twenty20 campaign commences with a clash against the West Indies on March 16, before a match against South Africa two days later.

Image: Former England captain Kevin Pietersen

Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

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