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Star batsman Kevin Pietersen was today left out of the 16-member England squad for the Test tour of India following the bitter text message scandal involving his national team-mates,leaving his international career in jeopardy.
Pietersen was embroiled in a bitter controversy after revelation that he sent test messages to members of the South African touring squad containing derogatory remarks about then England captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen was subsequently dropped for the final Test against South Africa. He was also left out of the England squad of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka despite making himself available for all forms of cricket.
Last week Pietersen was not handed a central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB),a clear indication that problems still exists.
Talks are,however,going on between Pietersen and the ECB although the batsman is currently in Sri Lanka working as a TV pundit during the World Twenty20.
In order to clear the air,he also had talks with coach Andy Flower and captain Alastair Cook — mediated by the Professional Cricketers’ Association — but apparently the ECB might have thought that there was no point in including the batsman for the India tour since his relationship with senior team members has deteriorated to an unhealthy level.
The four-match Test series against India starts on November 15 in Ahmedabad,before subsequent matches at Mumbai,Kolkata and Nagpur.
Hugh Morris,the managing director of England cricket,said there were issues to be resolved with the the 32-year-old South Africa-born batsman.
“Both ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues which led to his omission from the final Investec Test match against South Africa. These discussions remain private and confidential and as there are issues still to be resolved. Kevin has not been considered for selection for the India tour.”
England will have an inexperience batting line-up in the absence of Pietersen and now retired Strauss. In their place,Somerset’s Nick Compton and Yorkshire’s Joe Root have received maiden Test call-ups while Eoin Morgan returns to the fold.
Indian origin left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has also been named as one of three spinners alongside Graeme Swann and Samit Patel.
Root averaged 41 with the bat during the County Championship last season,while Compton,grandson of batting great Dennis Compton,scored 1494 runs at 99.60.
“Nick Compton has performed well consistently for Somerset in county cricket this season,made big hundreds and shown that he has the temperament and the technique to play at a higher level,” Morris said.
“Joe Root is a player who has been successful at every level from county cricket through to EPP and England Lions,and he deserves this opportunity to step up to the next level and press his case for a place in the Test side.”
The two notable omissions in the batting department are Ravi Bopara and James Taylor who both played during the recent Test series against South Africa.
Bopara withdrew from the second Test at Headingley due to personal problems which handed Taylor his debut. He returned for the ODI matches against South Africa but has suffered a horror run of form. He does not even feature in the Performance squad that will be based in India at the same time as the Test party.
Taylor,though,does have the compensation of a spot with the Performance squad and will be the first in line for a call-up should injury or illness strike.
England Squad: Alastair Cook (capt),James Anderson,Jonny Bairstow,Ian Bell,Tim Bresnan,Stuart Broad,Nick Compton,Steven Finn,Graham Onions,Eoin Morgan,Monty Panesar,Samit Patel,Matt Prior,Joe Root,Graeme Swann,Jonathan Trott.