Swann – KP still important for England

Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Laura in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Graeme Swann has insisted England need to include Kevin Pietersen in their plans following rumours in the cricket press the batsman could be set to be dropped. Swann, who announced his retirement from the game following England’s third Test defeat in Perth, has made it clear Pietersen still has a big role to play for England in the "short-term" future.

In the wake of the 5-0 Ashes humbling this winter, Pietersen appears to have been singled out by some as being part of England’s problem rather than their solution – with Andy Flower reportedly even issuing a “him or me” ultimatum to the ECB.

While the Ashes was by no means a success for Pietersen, the batsman still finished as his team’s leading run-scorer during their dismal series Down Under – which will rank as one of KP’s least impressive achievements.

Despite his label as a trouble-maker, Pietersen has received the backing of a number of England players past and present, with Swann the latest to insist the enigmatic batsman is still crucial to any hopes England have of reclaiming their place among the world’s best Test sides.

"England's short-term future should include Pietersen. People seem keen to create a rift between Kevin and the rest of the team,” admitted Swann.

"Since being reintegrated in 2012, his attitude has been great. He was England's top run scorer in the Ashes and is one of the world's best players, so why get rid of him?"

With a decent break before the next Test series, the look of this England squad could dramatically change before the summer. While it remains to be seen whether Pietersen will still be part of England’s Test line-up against Sri Lanka in June, we know it would be hard to name someone who could bring what KP does to the team.