Pietersen sacking 'unnecessary' - Broad
Kevin Pietersen will not have the opportunity to line up against England in Canberra next week, after Chris Rogers was named Mike Hussey's replacement to captain the Prime Minister's XI, but he has received some sympathy from a former team-mate over the way his international career ended.
Stuart Broad has described Pietersen's sacking by the ECB as "unnecessary" and said the issue could have been dealt with differently. However, he could not see a way back for Pietersen, due to the emergence of several talented young batsmen over the last 12 months.
"It just became a bit of a media uproar, the whole sacking, it just seemed a bit unnecessary when every other player in the history of the game just gets dropped for poor form,'' Broad told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"His form was pretty poor over 18 months, but every other player just gets dropped. Obviously Kevin's very disappointed with that and every player should be disappointed if you're not going to represent your country again. It could've been handled very differently, I think, by everyone.''
Pietersen was told he would no longer be considered for selection after the disastrous tour of Australia, which saw England whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes. Although England's fortunes have been up and down since then, they began the process of rebuilding the Test side with a 3-1 win over India.
Over the course of the Test summer, Joe Root averaged 97.12 and his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance 70.40; Root also made impressive strides as England's No. 4 in ODIs, scoring three centuries. With young players such as Moeen Ali, Alex Hales and James Taylor pressing their cases in different formats, Pietersen's England career seems to have been consigned to the past, despite his stated ambitions to return.
"The guys who have come in - Joe Root, Gary Ballance - have been the shining lights of the England team," Broad said. "When you lose a great player, younger guys come in and perform, so actually if Kevin Pietersen was still in the side would Joe Root have taken the responsibility on this summer and averaged 99? Probably not, but he became the shining light of the England batting line-up.''
England's difficult 2014 ended with a change of the one-day captaincy and the upcoming tri-series will be the first test for Eoin Morgan in the permanent role. With the World Cup looming, the one-day side must attempt to move on quickly from the removal of Alastair Cook and Morgan's hand will be strengthened by the return of Broad and James Anderson from injury.
On the question of who replaces Cook in the XI, Morgan has confirmed that Ian Bell will be given a chance to re-establish himself at opener, after he was dropped down the order during the summer to accommodate Hales. England's first tour match will be against an ACT Invitational XI on Monday, one of two warm-up matches before the tri-series opener on Friday.
"The top three will be Ali, Bell and Taylor. The first opportunity goes to those guys," Morgan said. "All three look in great form ... Opportunity lands with them and we'll see how they go. Belly is a class act, somebody we've looked to for a long time to score a heavy weight of runs and use his experience. He's pretty key at the top of the order."