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Pietersen blames England's top-order for Trent Bridge defeat

Kevin Pietersen scored a fifty on his first outing in the Natwest T20 Blast this season
Kevin Pietersen scored a fifty on his first outing in the Natwest T20 Blast this season

Former skipper Kevin Pietersen has pointed out at poor team selection as the reason behind England's 340-run defeat to South Africa in the second Test at Trent Bridge that allowed the Proteas to level the series 1-1.

England, who entered the game with a 1-0 lead were bowled out for 205 and 133 runs in the two innings with only Joe Root managing to score a half-century.

Even in the first game at Lord's, it was Root's brilliant innings of 190 that laid the foundation with fifties from Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Alastair Cook.

Keaton Jennings has scored just 44 runs in the four innings combined while Gary Ballance, who is ruled out of the third game at The Oval has managed just 85.

"They picked a poor test-match team," Pietersen told Sky Sports.

"I know they won at Lord's but that was the brilliance of Joe Root.

"There's individuals that are brilliant, but the collective don't fire as much as they should and there are some holes in that batting order."

Pietersen also expressed displeasure on the approach of the top three batsmen in the team and urged for the inclusion of either Dawid Malan or Jason Roy in the line-up to exert pressure on the South African attack.

"You cannot have a top three that bat as the top three bat or has poor technique, you cannot have that," added Pietersen.

"You've got to change that up, get them striking, get bowlers thinking 'Goodness, if I don't bowl this ball in the right place, I'm going to get whacked'. Malan and Roy are my choice."

The England selectors confirmed on Thursday that Essex batsman Tom Westley will replace Ballance at number three for the third Test while Malan has also been called-up to the 13-man squad.

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