Nasser Hussain wants England and Kevin Pietersen to 'kiss and make up'


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The Independent Online

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes the sooner the England team and Kevin Pietersen “kiss and make up” the better after the batsman was left out of the Test squad for their upcoming series in India.

The 32-year-old was dropped last month after after admitting sending "provocative" texts to South African players during the series between the two.

Hussain feels England will be weakened by Pietersen's absence but can understand their reasoning if the player is not fully behind new captain Alastair Cook and team manager Andy Flower.

"Any issues, get them out in the open sort it out and move on," he told Sky Sports News.

"Whenever he comes back, maybe the sooner the better, the team have got to tell Kevin what their problems are with him and Kevin has to say what his problems are with the team. The sooner they kiss and make up the better.

"Kevin Pietersen has got to adhere what Cook and Flower want. We are talking about good men. What they are doing is what they think is right for English cricket and if they think it's best Kevin stays on the sideline I agree with them.

"Kevin Pietersen needs England, no doubt about that. There are signs they made up, but maybe it is a little bit too soon.

"It's a shame because any time you tour India you want the best cricketers and best players of spin.

"Pietersen fits both categories. India will be a lot happier with Kevin Pietersen not going out there, but most of the making of this has come from Pietersen, who has made some horrendous errors."

Both Joe Root and Nick Compton have both been called into the squad and could earn their first caps on the tour to replace Pietersen and the recently-retired Andrew Strauss.

And Hussain has backed both selections. He said: "Some have said that maybe Root is going a year too early? I spoke to Graham Thorpe who was in charge of the development squad and he said the one to look out for is Joe Root.

"He hasn't set the world on light this season and averages 40 in Division Two but that isn't be all and end all.

"Compton has done the opposite and set world alight averaging about 99, albeit the majority of those games at Taunton. He can obviously play."

Root spent last winter in India with the England development squad and he hopes the experience could prove useful.

He told Sky Sports News: "I am really looking forward to being a part of it.

"If opportunities arise then fantastic.

"I will be working really hard to put a case forward for myself.

"Obviously I spent the winter in India and a lot of teams struggle out there and that experience last winter will be definitely useful if I am called upon."

England national selector Geoff Miller says Kevin Pietersen was not available for the Test tour of England because issues between himself and the team had not yet been resolved.

The 32-year-old was left out of the final test match against South Africa after admitting sending provocative text messages to opposition players.

Pietersen has since had meetings with the England management team regarding his future with the national side, however it seems they have yet to come to an understanding.

"We are just the selectors, they let us know it (issues with Pietersen) hasn't been resolved," he told Sky Sports News.

"It is disappointing, he is a world class player but it is about a team game and I can't keep going on about that point.

"You want to take your best players but he wasn't available, we have to move on with other players."

Miller, however, believes Pietersen has a future in the national set-up.

"He might do, we will wait and see," he said. "He could do, it depends on when those issues are resolved.

"This is not a Kevin Pietersen issue, this is about an England side going out to India on a tough tour."

And Miller spoke to the player to explain why he was omitted.

"I told him exactly why he hasn't been selected and explained this. We had a five, 10 minute chat and that remains private," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"He is one of the best players in the world and he has shown that on many an occasion. It is not just about an individual in a changing room, it is a team ethic and unity."