ENGLAND seamer Tim Bresnan played down the significance of Kevin Pietersen’s comeback after the estranged batsman’s reintegration was overshadowed by an injury scare for bowler Steven Finn.
Pietersen appeared in England colours yesterday for the first time since his infamous text messaging dispute as the tourists saw India A reach 369-9 on day one of their first warm-up match in Mumbai.
Finn stole his thunder, albeit in unwelcome fashion, by limping off with a thigh problem having bowled just four overs. He was due to have a scan last night, with an update on his condition expected today.
Pietersen’s spectacular falling-out with England chiefs and exile from the dressing room ensured his eventual return would be eagerly scrutinised, but Bresnan called it “business as usual”.
“I’m sure most of the lads in the dressing room were expecting it to be like that,” said Bresnan. “It’s nothing different to having [any] player come back into the squad who’s been missing for a while.
“Everyone in the know has sat down and spoken about it. There’s nothing exceptionally different. He’s the same old Kev – energy in the field that he showed today, all day. It’s been good.”
Pietersen is down to bat fourth, with Test newcomer Nick Compton set to open with captain Alastair Cook, when England finally get their first batting practice of the tour today.
First, however, they will have to finish off a stubborn India A innings in which Manoj Tiawary top scored with 93, while Abhinav Mukund, with 73, and Yuvraj Singh, who hit 59, also impressed.
Mukund drove on a strong India A side in the early stages, smashing a dozen fours in a swift 50, and, having collapsed to 190-6, Tiawary and Irfan Pathan’s century stand for the seventh wicket prolonged matters.
Bresnan proved the most effective of England’s bowlers, taking 3-59 including the early scalps of Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane, who edged for Pietersen to catch him at gully.
Graeme Swann took 3-90, but fellow spinner Samit Patel had a more testing day, conceding 95 runs for his solitary wicket from his 20 overs, as well as dropping Yuvraj’s first ball.