Pietersen can bounce back says Miller

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The Independent Online

England will give Kevin Pietersen a fair chance to regain his form and make up for his Twitter faux pas in time for next winter's Ashes.

The out-of-form batsman was yesterday prescribed a loan stint with Surrey and dropped from England's Twenty20 and one-day international squads to face Pakistan - but not before he himself had inadvertently broken the news to his 'followers' via a foul-mouthed tweet.

Several hours before the England and Wales Cricket Board announced the 12-man Twenty20 and 14-man ODI squads yesterday afternoon, Pietersen wrote: "Done for the rest of the summer!!

"Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. It's a ****-up."

It was a short-lived tweet, taken off the feed within seconds.

By then, though, it was too late to stop the surprising news travelling fast.

England national selector Geoff Miller confirmed he will be speaking to Pietersen about the episode.

But he also made it clear every effort will be made to help the 30-year-old regain his best form in time to prove his worth for the Ashes.

The squad for that high-profile trip is expected to be announced at the end of this month, and Miller said: "We know KP is a high-quality international player.

"But his form has not been where he would have wanted it to be, so we've given him the opportunity to get some middle practice - with the Ashes in mind."

Explaining the decision to leave Pietersen out yesterday, Miller added: "We've taken everything into account regarding this series and an arduous winter to come.

"I'd expect Kevin to be disappointed.

"We feel we've made the right decision - because we need him to get his form back and we think he will do that playing some county cricket.

"We have to thank Surrey for accepting the request and we think that will benefit him more than some ODIs - and I know he will fight his way back to be an integral part of the England side."

Pietersen will have to fight for his place, like everyone else.

"I fully anticipate seeing Kevin Pietersen back to the way he was when he dominated opposition attacks," said Miller.

"We will give people a real fair crack of the whip, and I think we've done that with Kevin as well.

"There are a few players who will be fighting to get into that side, and Kevin will be one of those."

Before then, though, Pietersen can expect one or two stern questions about that Twitter slip.

"I'll talk to KP. Whether there is an apology or not, I'm sure (England coach) Andy Flower will have a word with him," said Miller.

He expects relations to remain cordial, however. "I'll be watching games that he is participating in before the end of the season, and this won't stop me talking to Kevin Pietersen.

"If he wants to apologise or thinks there is a need to apologise then so be it.

"I will certainly explain to him what my feelings are."

Pietersen's absence aside, the squads announced yesterday were largely predictable.

Pietersen, James Tredwell, Ajmal Shahzad and the injured Michael Lumb are the only World Twenty20 winners who will not be in Paul Collingwood's 12.

Steve Davies is brought in as a specialist wicketkeeper, and an attacking batting option at the top of the order alongside previous incumbent Craig Kieswetter.

Davies - unlike Kieswetter, whose runs dried up in the mid-summer NatWest Series - is included in an ODI squad led by Test and 50-over captain Andrew Strauss and also featuring Jonathan Trott and Shahzad.