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Kevin Pietersen's England Return Unlikely - Andrew Strauss

Kevin Pietersen's England Return Unlikely - Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss believes it will be extremely difficult for Kevin Pietersen to stage a comeback in the England team.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former England captain Andrew Strauss has stated that it will take something extraordinary for Kevin Pietersen to make a comeback to the national side.

Pietersen who was axed from the England team after their 2013-14 Ashes tour is eying a return back to the squad through county cricket performances this season.

Despite Pietersen’s efforts and the incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves’ statement indicating a possible place for the star batsman in the team, Strauss believes that the 34-year-old’s attempts will be in vain.

“I think you can’t fault his ambition,” Strauss said.

“He’s doing everything right, putting himself in position.

“He felt that Colin Graves offered him an olive branch, and he’s taking it with both hands … obviously he’s going to have to go out there and score runs.

“But I have to say I still think it’s very unlikely that he’ll play for England again.

“It’s going to take something extraordinary, England to lose a lot of games and for Pietersen to score a lot of runs – and probably for a captain or a coach, or both, to lose their jobs in the process.”

Having been a former Test captain himself, Strauss during his captaincy tenure had issues with Pietersen in 2012 with the latter allegedly sending texts to opponents criticizing his captain.

The 38-year-old feels that the contents of Pietersen’s autobiography that was released five months back will also prove to be an obstacle.

Despite England’s frailties in the shorter format of the game, Strauss doesn’t see Pietersen making the line-up.

“If you just look at everything that has gone on in the past … his book … that’s a significant hurdle he’ll have to get over.

“Then also, from a cricketing point of view, in one-day cricket we’ve got to build towards the next World Cup.

“Kevin Pietersen [will be] 36 years of age, [so] I can’t see how he would necessarily play in that.

“Also, in the Test match arena, our top five or six have all been in excellent form.
“So it’s not as if there is an obvious place in the side for him either.”

Strauss, who led England to two Ashes wins, also said that it was virtually improbable for Pietersen to make the squad for this year’s Ashes series at home.

Pointing out that the next Ashes series would be after another two years, Strauss opined that it will take a lot of failures for the England team to reconsider Pietersen.

“I’d be surprised if he plays in this Ashes series – and if he doesn’t, then it’s counter-intuitive that he would then come back in the side when they’d be building again towards the next Ashes series in two-and-a-half years’ time.

“There would have to be a lot of things that go wrong with the England cricket team between now and the start of the Ashes for him to come back.”

England's immediate assignment will be a three-match Test series in West Indies starting next month.

© Cricket World 2015