Pietersen left out of tour to India

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 01:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AFP: Kevin Pietersen has been left out of England’s Test squad for the tour of India as the controversial batsman pays the price for the text message scandal that has left his international career in tatters.

Pietersen was dropped for the final Test against South Africa after sending texts to opposition players that contained criticism of then England captain Andrew Strauss.

The South Africa-born star has since met England coach Andy Flower for clear-the-air talks, but there are still issues to be resolved and Kevin Pietersenthat meant there was no place for Pietersen on the plane to India.

While Pietersen remains in exile at present, England cricket managing director Hugh Morris left the door open for the 32-year-old to return to the fold in the future.

“Both ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues which led to his omission from the final Test match against South Africa,” Morris said on Tuesday.

“These discussions remain private and confidential and as there are issues still to be resolved Kevin has not been considered for selection for the India tour.”

Strauss retired from all cricket in the immediate aftermath of the Pietersen row and the fall-out from a stormy few months for English cricket continues to be felt.

Distracted by the controversy over Pietersen, England lost their place on top of the Test rankings to South Africa after being beaten by the Proteas in the recent series.

There were also reports that Pietersen’s relationship with the rest of his England team-mates had deteriorated over recent months and it has proved impossible to resolve so much conflict in just a few weeks.

Pietersen’s omission and the selectors’ decision to drop Essex batsman Ravi Bopara after poor run of form this year paved the way for two uncapped batsmen to be included in Alastair Cook’s 16-man squad for the four-match Test series.

Somerset’s Nick Compton and Yorkshire’s Joe Root have been called up after both enjoyed impressive seasons in English county cricket.

Compton, the 29-year-old grandson of England great Denis Compton, was the top English batsman in the county championship with an average of 99.

Root opened the batting for Yorkshire, averaging 43.41 and winning the Cricket Writers Club Young Cricketer of the Year award on Monday.

The 21-year-old is being lined up to fill the gap left by Strauss’s shock retirement.

The squad includes three spin bowlers, Samit Patel, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, as England adapt to the demands of playing on the slow pitches in India.