Kevin Pietersen pays price as England move on

Root and Compton earn call-ups for India tour after prolonged talks fail to resolve KP issues

As one illustrious career continued inexorably yesterday towards its close, two others may have started. Kevin Pietersen, the most formidable and controversial England cricketer of recent times, was omitted from the squad for the Test tour of India this autumn.

Two uncapped batsmen were chosen: Nick Compton, grandson of one of the most famous of all cricketers, and Joe Root, a 22-year-old from Sheffield, whom it is fervently hoped will be merely the latest in an enduring line of Yorkshire opening batsmen.

Neither Compton, whose forebear Denis scored 5,801 runs for England in the most stylish fashion imaginable, nor Root, who has already evoked comparisons with Michael Vaughan, if not Herbert Sutcliffe, could steal the limelight from Pietersen. That is where he normally likes to be but he, more than anybody, will have known that yesterday at least and for the next few days and weeks, and maybe forever in playing terms, it was all for all the wrong reasons.

His omission – and do not forget he made a stunning 149 in his most recent Test match at Headingley last month – also overshadowed that of Ravi Bopara and, after only two Test matches, the tyro James Taylor, not to mention the inclusion of Eoin Morgan. Pietersen arrived in Colombo yesterday not to join the England team in which he was player of the tournament the last time they played in the World Twenty20 but to act as a pundit for the host broadcasters.

It merely accentuated the schism between him and his more regular employers, the England and Wales Cricket Board. Effectively, Pietersen remains suspended. He says he is available, England will not pick him.

Dropped for England's last Test of the summer against South Africa, Pietersen was expected to be omitted from the tour party. That hardly lessened its impact after days of talks failed to achieve a resolution to the myriad problems that now beset his relationship with the England team.

Lawyers are now involved in trying to mend fences and a professional mediator may yet be called in to try to ensure that Pietersen resumes his place in the England dressing room, a scenario whose likelihood must dwindle with each passing day. It may be a case for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), although for the selection of a sports team to have come to this suggests that it may not be worth the candle.

Pietersen had been disaffected for months in the England dressing room before he gave a press conference following the Test match against South Africa at Leeds in which he told how "it's tough being me in the England dressing room". A few days later it emerged Pietersen had sent text messages to South Africa players disparaging some of his team-mates, including the then captain, Andrew Strauss.

There were differing messages from both sides after the 16-man squad was announced yesterday. Hugh Morris, the managing director of England Cricket, said: "Both ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues... 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."

Pietersen issued a statement through his agents, Mission Sports Management, in which he expressed disappointment, though not contrition: "Kevin Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today's decision, having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB. Pietersen has met with – and apologised to – Andrew Strauss.

"He has also met with Alastair Cook to stress his commitment to England and met with ECB board members, including face-to-face meetings with Hugh Morris, David Collier and Andy Flower, prior to his departure to Sri Lanka. At all times, Pietersen had wished his dealings with the ECB to remain private so as not to inflame an already difficult situation.

"His recent silence was not an admission of any wrong-doing; he wanted to explain and apologise to the ECB for the messages exchanged with members of the South African team. He has also made absolutely clear both to the ECB and the England team that – despite unsubstantiated allegations to the contrary and repeated media speculation – he did NOT offer ANY [sic] tactical advice to the South Africans. Pietersen remains available for England."

The text messages might be significant in this saga as the straw that broke the camel's back, but nobody should make the mistake of thinking all was hunky dory with Pietersen before that. He was disgruntled and his attitude was undoubtedly affecting the team's coach, Andy Flower. If the players weren't involved then, they are now.

Compton and Root have come up on the rails to be picked, with Root probably earmarked for the opening batting spot vacated by Strauss's retirement.

England squad

For Test tour of India, 15 Nov-17 Dec:

Alastair Cook (capt), 27, Essex, 83 caps

James Anderson, 30, Lancashire, 73 caps

Jonny Bairstow, 22, Yorkshire, 4 caps

Ian Bell, 30, Warwickshire, 80 caps

Tim Bresnan, 27, Yorkshire, 16 caps

Stuart Broad, 26, King’s XI Punjab, 50 caps

Nick Compton, 29, Somerset, 0 caps

Steven Finn, 23, Middlesex, 16 caps

Graham Onions, 29, Durham, 9 caps

Eoin Morgan, 26, Middlesex, 16 caps

Monty Panesar, 30, Sussex, 42 caps

Samit Patel, 27, Nottinghamshire, 2 caps

Matt Prior, 30, Sussex, 58 caps

Joe Root, 21, Yorkshire, 0 caps

Graeme Swann, 33, Northamptonshire, 46 caps

Jonathan Trott, 31, Warwickshire, 34 caps

Tour dates

1st Test Nov 15, Ahmedabad

2nd Test  Nov 23, Mumbai

3rd Test Dec 5, Kolkata

4th Test  Dec 13, Nagpur

Matches start at 4am (GMT)

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test