‘It’s disrespectful to Indian team if England do not play best XI’: Kevin Pietersen
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Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen

FORMER England cricketer Kevin Pietersen criticised England selectors for not picking wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow in the squad for the first two Tests against India. In a tweet, Pietersen said that not selecting the best players in the squad would be disrespectful for the hosting Indian team.

England have rested Bairstow for the first two Tests as part of ECB’s player management policy, which stresses on giving adequate rest to every English cricketer in a packed calendar year, which includes 17 Tests and the ICC T20 World Cup.

Along with the dynamic batsman, England also left out seamers Sam Curran and Mark Wood from the squad for the first two Tests.

Criticising the squad selection, Pietersen wrote on Twitter: “Big debate on whether ENG have picked their best team to play India in the 1st Test. Winning IN India is as good a feeling as winning in Aus. It’s disrespectful to ENG fans & also @BCCI to NOT play your best team. Bairstow has to play! Broad/Anderson have to play.”

In another tweet, Pieterson said the best players wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to play against an in-form Indian team at home while suggesting players can be rested after the Indian Premier League.

“The BEST England players will want to play as many games as possible against India, in India. PICK THEM! Then they go to IPL & earn everything they deserve. Cash is king for every sportsman. They’re a business! They can have a break after that,” he added. (Hindustani Times)

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