England don’t need Pietersen to keep T20 title, says Watson

ENGLAND’S youngsters can compensate for the absence of outof- favour batsman Kevin Pietersen when they begin their World Twenty20 title defence this week, says Australia’s Shane Watson.

Stuart Broad’s defending champions continued their preparations for the tournament, which starts today in Sri Lanka, with a morale-boosting nine-run win over the Aussies in Colombo.

Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales, 23, shone with a 36-ball halfcentury and all-rounder Watson believes there is enough depth in England’s squad to cover for the significant loss of Pietersen.

“Kevin Pietersen is an amazingly talented batsman,” said Watson. “But England have a number of very exciting young guys coming in, who can do a really good job as well. It won’t have too much of a dent in the England side, they’ll be able to make up for it pretty well.”

Pietersen remains frozen out over his text messaging row and is today expected to be omitted from the winter Tour of India.