Kevin Pietersen’s absence may help England, says Tim Bresnan

Tim Bresnan believes England may be a “better side” without Kevin Pietersen.

He was dropped after failing to reveal the contents of text messages allegedly sent to South African players.

Jonny Bairstow replaces batsman Pietersen for the final Test against South Africa, which England must win to retain their number one world ranking.

“It may be an even better side. It’s one of those things where a talented player is being replaced by another talented player,” said Bresnan.

“So why should we miss a certain individual because he’s unavailable for selection?”

Pietersen’s omission from the England squad for the final Test at Lord’s came at the end of a turbulent week in which he first hinted he could retire completely from international cricket, only to back down on Saturday and commit to playing for England in all forms of the game.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board wanted assurances from the 32-year-old, who has scored more than 7,000 Test runs at an average of almost 50, that he had not sent derogatory texts about captain Andrew Strauss, which Pietersen was unable to provide.

Bairstow, 22, made his Test debut against West Indies at Lord’s in May, but was dropped at the end of the three-match series after scoring just 38 runs at an average of 12.66.

However, he scored a century for England Lions against Australia A at Old Trafford  last week to convince the selectors he has regained his form.

Bairstow joins another new face, James Taylor, in the England batting line-up, and Bresnan believes his Yorkshire county colleague will prove a worthy replacement for Pietersen.

“If he gets stuck in and gets runs this week then I’m sure he will show what he can do on the world stage and how talented he is,” said Bresnan. “A new star could be born.

“Jonny is very talented and has a long way to go but, as time goes by, he will develop into one of the world’s best.”

England are 1-0 down in the three-match series against South Africa but an improved performance in the second Test at Headingley, when Pietersen scored a century, has boosted their confidence.

“We met up yesterday, the mood in the camp was exceptional,” said Bresnan. “It’s just like it always is to be fair, quite relaxed, quite focused, we’ve still got the drive and desire to get that win and that’s the ultimate thing really, that’s what we’re after.”

Bresnan is also backing the England team to rise to the challenge without Pietersen, adding: “We seem to play really well in the face of adversity.

“When we do come across must-win games, like Melbourne¬† and Colombo,¬† we seem to pull it out the bag when it’s needed.

“And it’s not just one guy that’s going to be able to it for us, it’s a team effort.”

South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis is backing Pietersen to bounce back from this setback.

“I’m sure they’ll sort it out,” he said. “He’s too good a player to stay out of the international scene.

“I’ve no doubts they’ll come to an agreement and something will be sorted out. These sorts of things are going to happen throughout his career, a few things have happened. I don’t think it’ll affect him, I think he’ll bounce back and I think he’s still got a lot of cricket ahead of him.”

Kallis added: “He’s a world-class player and he’s proven that over many years – putting in big performances for England – so I’m sure he’s going to be missed, but England have got [other] good players as well.

“I think the guys are professional enough to get on with the job.”

Source: www.bbc.co.uk