ANY lingering hopes that maverick batsman Kevin Pietersen had of earning an unlikely England recall appeared to be extinguished by England director of cricket Andrew Strauss yesterday.
One of Strauss’ first tasks in his new role back in May was to inform Pietersen, who was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February 2014. that he would not be considered for international selection this summer due to ongoing trust issues.
England’s Ashes victory together with the continued establishment of a number of their batsmen on the international stage looks to have convinced Strauss to close the door permanently on England’s record run-scorer across all formats.
“I think the team has moved on and the team is in a pretty good place. I think some of those young guys have established themselves,” said Strauss.
“You look at [Joe] Root, [Ben] Stokes, Moeen Ali as three guys over the past 18 months that have really come through and have the makings of top-quality international players. That’s what we will be focusing on taking England forward.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss, meanwhile, has hailed the increasing maturity of all-rounder Stokes in the wake of his controversial dismissal in the second one-day international against Australia at Lord’s on Saturday.
Stokes was given out by the third umpire after being deemed to have obstructed the field as England slumped to a 64-run defeat, which leaves them trailing 2-0 in the five-match series ahead of today’s pivotal clash at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old infamously missed last year’s World Twenty20 after breaking his wrist having punched a locker in the Caribbean following a string of low scores, although his measured reaction to his bizarre dismissal impressed Bayliss.
“I thought Stokesy handled it very well,” said Bayliss. “He was obviously disappointed when he got out but in the changing room after the game he was philosophical about it.
“From what I’ve heard of Stokesy before it could have been worse but he is making strides.
“He is growing up, not just as a cricketer but as a person. With guys like that there is special attention from the opposition as well to try to get those emotions out of them and certainly that is something he is beginning to learn.
“He has got to take it on the chin and get on with it. I thought he did that pretty well the other day.”