England news June 20, 2013

Pietersen makes England return

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Kevin Pietersen, who returns to first-class action for Surrey against Yorkshire at Headingley on Friday, is poised to make his England return against New Zealand next Thursday on his home ground at The Oval.

He has been named in a 14-strong squad for two T20 internationals against New Zealand, but is only scheduled to play in the second match on June 27.

Eoin Morgan captains a squad which includes two uncapped players in Yorkshire's Gary Ballance and the Warwickshire fast bowler Boyd Rankin and which, Pietersen apart, does not include any player likely to figure in the first Investec Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge on July 10

It would be his first match for England since the Wellington Test against New Zealand in March after which he broke down with a bruised knee bone, causing him to miss the IPL, start of the English season and the Champions Trophy.

Pietersen will join the squad for the second match provided he successfully completes what will be a rare Championship outing for Surrey - back on the Headingley ground nearly 11 months after his complaints about dressing room tensions led to a prolonged stand-off with officialdom.

The squad is also notable for the inclusion of Ben Stokes, who was sent home from the Lions tour of Australia in February after two breaches of discipline, and Alex Hales, who was disciplined but not sent home after an incident on the same tour and who has been so out of form this season that he has been dropped from Nottinghamshire's Championship side.

Rankin announced his retirement from Ireland cricket at the end of 2012 but, until he plays for England, could reverse that decision without serving any qualification period. Aged 29 in a couple of weeks and with a history of injury problems, his inclusion in an England team would be highly likely to close the door on a Ireland return.

Geoff Miller, England's national selector, said: "With an intense period of cricket coming up we are conscious that we need to manage the workloads of our players throughout the summer and this NatWest series gives an opportunity for players who have performed well in domestic cricket and on the England Performance Programme and with the Lions to step up and test themselves in an international environment.

"New Zealand are a talented limited-overs side and with a World T20 competition less than a year away this series gives us a chance to look at a number of different options."

England squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex)

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Optic on June 20, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Great to see KP back and I reckon a game of T20 is exactly what he'll enjoy at this time. He's probably one of the only England players that can find form for Test matches in games like this because for KP it's all about his confidence and how well he's seeing the ball.

    Stokes has got talent and is defo one for the future but tbh I think he's got a far bit to do before he becomes anything like a England regular. Even compared to someone like Woakes, who actually averages more with both Bat & Ball, he falls quite a way short. Of course Woakes has got a couple of years on him.

    As for the team I don't have a problem using these games to get one or two players used to the England team, even if it isn't their strongest format. I think the ECB just likes to get the young players in and around the team and environment to see how they interact with others and thrive. I don't think they pick players and play them in their weakest formats for anything other than what I said before.

  • aracer on June 22, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    "Great to see KP back and I reckon a game of T20 is exactly what he'll enjoy at this time. He's probably one of the only England players that can find form for Test matches in games like this because for KP it's all about his confidence and how well he's seeing the ball."

    I agree, Optic - if anything KP is actually better off finding his form in this format than in a longer one as he has no inhibitions in T20 and as you say for him it's just about getting the feel, he doesn't need to get used to a different tempo. Would be better if he could get a couple of these matches under his belt, but he will at least have got some other cricket and it's really just about getting him back in the England dressing room.

  • wdekwende on June 21, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Garry Balance should have been palying for Zimbabwe but anyway im glad the English selectors saw some huge talent in this lad, hope he will impress....

  • SDHM on June 21, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    As for Stokes being England's Kallis, I can't say I see it - 1) because Kallis is such an incredible player it would be ridiculous to put that pressure on him and 2) I see Stokes more in the Botham/Flintoff mould of all rounder, an impact player who can change the course of a game in a session with bat or ball, rather than someone with the consistency of Kallis.

  • shad11 on June 21, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    fantastic team,guys like stokes, hales and ballance are some of the hardest hitters in the world and they are the future of this team.not sure about rankin but looking at this team he is probably the best bowler in this team so can't blame his selection.its nice if kp gets a game.i would love to watch stokes perform;nz will be coming hard is well with mccullum,taylor and guptill and inclusion of ruthrford and latham is a positive move by nz

  • CricketingStargazer on June 21, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    It is very much an experimental squad. Definitely Gary Balance is an excellent pick. Some interesting names but nothing outrageous (unless you count Jade Dernbach, but he seems par for the course - why didn't they pick Stuart Meaker instead???). Plenty of younger players who have a chance to show what they can do and make a claim to step up. These matches are definitely not a high priority, must-win series, so you use them wisely to look at your bench strength for future, bigger tests.

    Good news/bad news on KP. Great that he is back. However, I understand that he is only slated to play in the second match. Add that to a maximum of 4 days Championship cricket and a few T20s for Surrey and he is going to have very little middle time under his belt come the 1st Test, most of it in the format most unlike Tests: very underdone. Selecting him for the 1st Test may turn out to be a big risk.

  • on June 21, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    Cant Wait to See You back in Action KP, I am Coming to the Oval on Thursday to watch you Bat. Good Luck and All the Best KP.

  • kiwicricketnut on June 21, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    @ clarke501, just havin a laugh no doubt he's an englishman now, pretty sure he was born here in nz but left for your shores as a kid so you're right he hasn't played any rep cricket here and is only one team he is ever going to represent and it aint us. every team in the world is looking fora flintoff, cairns, kallis type allrounder and i would say he is the closest england have thats why im surprised he hasn't had more oppotunity for you guys, thats why i made that remark, he is a young man and time is on his side so i guess you don't have to rush him, exciting talent like that though doesn't sit on the sidelines long in nz, we don't have that luxuary.

  • Shan156 on June 20, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Good squad. I hope the new boys perform well and secure a place in the side.

  • whatawicket on June 20, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    luke hill what a load of rot. knotty was a cracker of a batter. in the test match that Botham made his debut against Australia at notts AK scored 130 odd which was one of the best knocks I have seen live. this guy would have been in his element in the moden short game be it T20 or ODIs. the finest WK in the last 50 years from any country

  • Optic on June 20, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Great to see KP back and I reckon a game of T20 is exactly what he'll enjoy at this time. He's probably one of the only England players that can find form for Test matches in games like this because for KP it's all about his confidence and how well he's seeing the ball.

    Stokes has got talent and is defo one for the future but tbh I think he's got a far bit to do before he becomes anything like a England regular. Even compared to someone like Woakes, who actually averages more with both Bat & Ball, he falls quite a way short. Of course Woakes has got a couple of years on him.

    As for the team I don't have a problem using these games to get one or two players used to the England team, even if it isn't their strongest format. I think the ECB just likes to get the young players in and around the team and environment to see how they interact with others and thrive. I don't think they pick players and play them in their weakest formats for anything other than what I said before.

  • aracer on June 22, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    "Great to see KP back and I reckon a game of T20 is exactly what he'll enjoy at this time. He's probably one of the only England players that can find form for Test matches in games like this because for KP it's all about his confidence and how well he's seeing the ball."

    I agree, Optic - if anything KP is actually better off finding his form in this format than in a longer one as he has no inhibitions in T20 and as you say for him it's just about getting the feel, he doesn't need to get used to a different tempo. Would be better if he could get a couple of these matches under his belt, but he will at least have got some other cricket and it's really just about getting him back in the England dressing room.

  • wdekwende on June 21, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Garry Balance should have been palying for Zimbabwe but anyway im glad the English selectors saw some huge talent in this lad, hope he will impress....

  • SDHM on June 21, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    As for Stokes being England's Kallis, I can't say I see it - 1) because Kallis is such an incredible player it would be ridiculous to put that pressure on him and 2) I see Stokes more in the Botham/Flintoff mould of all rounder, an impact player who can change the course of a game in a session with bat or ball, rather than someone with the consistency of Kallis.

  • shad11 on June 21, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    fantastic team,guys like stokes, hales and ballance are some of the hardest hitters in the world and they are the future of this team.not sure about rankin but looking at this team he is probably the best bowler in this team so can't blame his selection.its nice if kp gets a game.i would love to watch stokes perform;nz will be coming hard is well with mccullum,taylor and guptill and inclusion of ruthrford and latham is a positive move by nz

  • CricketingStargazer on June 21, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    It is very much an experimental squad. Definitely Gary Balance is an excellent pick. Some interesting names but nothing outrageous (unless you count Jade Dernbach, but he seems par for the course - why didn't they pick Stuart Meaker instead???). Plenty of younger players who have a chance to show what they can do and make a claim to step up. These matches are definitely not a high priority, must-win series, so you use them wisely to look at your bench strength for future, bigger tests.

    Good news/bad news on KP. Great that he is back. However, I understand that he is only slated to play in the second match. Add that to a maximum of 4 days Championship cricket and a few T20s for Surrey and he is going to have very little middle time under his belt come the 1st Test, most of it in the format most unlike Tests: very underdone. Selecting him for the 1st Test may turn out to be a big risk.

  • on June 21, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    Cant Wait to See You back in Action KP, I am Coming to the Oval on Thursday to watch you Bat. Good Luck and All the Best KP.

  • kiwicricketnut on June 21, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    @ clarke501, just havin a laugh no doubt he's an englishman now, pretty sure he was born here in nz but left for your shores as a kid so you're right he hasn't played any rep cricket here and is only one team he is ever going to represent and it aint us. every team in the world is looking fora flintoff, cairns, kallis type allrounder and i would say he is the closest england have thats why im surprised he hasn't had more oppotunity for you guys, thats why i made that remark, he is a young man and time is on his side so i guess you don't have to rush him, exciting talent like that though doesn't sit on the sidelines long in nz, we don't have that luxuary.

  • Shan156 on June 20, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Good squad. I hope the new boys perform well and secure a place in the side.

  • whatawicket on June 20, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    luke hill what a load of rot. knotty was a cracker of a batter. in the test match that Botham made his debut against Australia at notts AK scored 130 odd which was one of the best knocks I have seen live. this guy would have been in his element in the moden short game be it T20 or ODIs. the finest WK in the last 50 years from any country

  • Basingrad on June 20, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Agree with Clarke501. England have held Stokes back and this format at this point in time is the right time to get him back in the fold. He has the potential to be one of the great all-rounders; a genuine top 6 batsman and a good slipper who bowls a heavy ball and takes wickets. We can only hope that one day he can be something approximating our version of Kallis - he'll never be as good a batsman but if he can be good enough to average 40+ with the bat and 30ish with the ball in Tests he'll still be a great asset to English cricket.

  • 200ondebut on June 20, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Great to see KP back - but why are we giving a debut to a 29 year old fast bowler from Ireland? I'm sure Boyd is a great lad and all that - but surely we should be using these matches to blood future stars for England not someone who will never feature at the top level. There must be a young fast bowler out there who would learn a lot from these matches? I would have liked to see Rashid given another chance and I am not sure what Patel has done wrong to get omitted.

  • on June 20, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Ian, Foster is without doubt the best cricket keeper in the world... He has been for years, but he wouldn't cut the mustard with the willow.

    Plus I think Foster has been unnofficially retired for years. Shame as Knotty wasn't much cop with the bat either.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 20, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    England fans would love to see KP back playing cricket and scoring runs, all in time for the Ashes. A most unique cricketer is Pietersen, he's box office and one of the lead enforcers from England's strong top 6.

  • SDHM on June 20, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    @Munkeymomo - Meaker has a considerably worse T20 record than Dernbach! Plus he's been struggling with niggling injuries so far this season, leading him to be hugely inconsistent. Problem with the bowling, especially seam, is that I can't think of many seamers round the country that are actually all that good in T20, Broad & Finn aside. Most of the young crop, like Meaker, Woakes & Harris, are far better with a red ball in hand.

  • JG2704 on June 20, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    To me the squad looks about as strong as we get battingwise but as weak as it gets re bowling. Other than Briggs (who still wasn't trusted to twin with Tredwell in the WC when the pacers were going round the park) and Tredwell himself , the bowling looks terrible. I genuinely like Dernbach for his effort etc but he just seems unable to reproduce what he's done for Surrey in Eng colours. Don't see Woakes as a shorter formats player and as said before unconvinced re Boyd Rankin. Not sure who I'd go for instead as an outright bowler but - despite their ages - I'd like to have seen Trego and Napier given a go , but it looks like they're going for our best batting line up and using these T20s for giving bowlers experience

  • landl47 on June 20, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Pretty much an experimental squad. I just hope England isn't going to start judging players based on T20 performances, good or bad. T20 is a different game and bears no relationship to test cricket and very little to ODIs.

    Ballance and Stokes have a chance to be test players- Stokes is at least a couple of years away, but Ballance isn't that far off. This isn't the format to enable the selectors to pass any judgments on them either way.

    I guess they feel KP needs the work. I just hope he doesn't get injured playing in this insignificant pair of games.

  • WilliamFranklin on June 20, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @burslemcc4 obviously haven't seen him bowl much then. He's been pretty good in the championship for Surrey.

  • shillingsworth on June 20, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut - Stokes has played no representative cricket in NZ. By contrast, he's played age group cricket for Cumbria and Durham from under 13s onwards. I've no idea which country he regards as 'home' but it would appear unlikely it is NZ. The tour of Australia suggested that he still has much to learn. By allowing him to concentrate so far on his career with Durham and rewarding him for the progress he has made this season, I'd say that England have used him extremely well.

  • kiwicricketnut on June 20, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    stokes is an incredible talent which england hasn't used well, he should come back home to nz, he would probably make the nz team in all 3 formats, have a better ipl window of oppotunity to earn the big bucks, im sure he'd have no trouble finding a county contract for the winter, he'd be made for life. born a kiwi always a kiwi so come on home stokes we'll look after you.

  • on June 20, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    A bit light on the bowling - lots of options but not much quality. I haven't seen NZ's squad but I would imagine NZ would sign off with a series victory here.

  • on June 20, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    Why do they persist with Dernbach? I know this is T20 but he is officially the most expensive bowler (qualification 1000 balls) in the history of ODIs!!

  • on June 20, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Yet again Napier and Foster aren't given a chance.

  • Priyavrat96 on June 20, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Very happy to see pietersen back into the England dressing room

  • burslemcc4 on June 20, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Im also amazed Dernbach even gets a game for Surrey, he is awful, he has got lots of varieties which ALL go to the boundary!

  • burslemcc4 on June 20, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    With this squad -

    Hales, Wright, Pietersen, Morgan, Buttler, Stokes, Bopara, Woakes, Tredwell, Briggs & Rankin. 7 bowling options.

  • Diddles1978 on June 20, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Dernbach and Woakes?????

    Dernbach's rubbish and Woakes isnt a white ball bowler.

    A quick prediction that every first ball of a new spell by Dernbach is a leg side wide.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 20, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    very happy to see ballance being given a chance

  • SDHM on June 20, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Also think it's incredibly harsh on poor old Samit Patel - he's in flying form at the moment and really hasn't done anything wrong in recent times!

  • SDHM on June 20, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Difficult to pick a starting line up out of that lot - you'd think Stokes & Bopara were competing for the same spot for a start, and seeing as Lumb & Hales have started to form a good partnership at the top, where does KP slot in? The bowling doesn't look great - Dernbach's T20 record is much better than his ODI one but it's still nothing to shout about, and Rankin's only ever played 3 games! Woakes too is just not a white ball bowler - with this squad they seem to have realised Bairstow isn't much of a limited overs player, so I'd have hoped they'd have done the same for Woakes. England still do this too much: pick players who aren't comfortable in the shorter forms to see if they're suited for Tests. Where's the logic in that?

  • Munkeymomo on June 20, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @nlight: Agreed, wouldn't mind seeing Meaker in place of Dernbach personally. Briggs is probably the best of the lot. Probably go with Stokes personally, while there are better bowlers in the circuit, at least he provides extra batting and is genuinely better than Jade.

    Hales, KP, Lumb, Wright, Morg, Buttler, Bops, Stokes, Woakes, Tredwell, Rankin.

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    Dernbach? Is he still an option? Blimey, i'll have to find my whites, maybe i have a chance as i can't bowl either.....

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I really hope Ballance gets a game. I've been saying for a couple of years that he will play for England soon and I hope this is the start of his long international career

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Nice to see Hales included in the side after scoring just over 200 runs this season in all formats.

  • jmcilhinney on June 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Fortunately there are not too many players from the England Test team who usually also play T20Is so the team doesn't have to be too disrupted keeping those in the Ashes squad out of that series. I can't help thinking that Jonny Bairstow at least would like to be playing though, given that he hasn't figured in either the CT or the preceding NZ ODI series. If he ends up warming the bench during the Ashes as well, which is likely barring injury, then he'll be a very frustrated man.

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Its nice to see him back in action . He is a superb batsman

  • on June 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Stokes and Balance should get a chance

  • nlight on June 20, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Hales, Lumb, Wright, kp, Morgan, Buttler, Bopara, Woakes, Tredwell, Rankin + another bowler who won't get hit all over the park. I'm not seeing that player in the above list.

  • Htc-Baseball on June 20, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Kevin peterson can make runs only against weak bowling attacks like india and newzealand, ask him to come to srilanka and make runs against us then i will agree he is a good batsman,

  • Htc-Baseball on June 20, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Kevin peterson can make runs only against weak bowling attacks like india and newzealand, ask him to come to srilanka and make runs against us then i will agree he is a good batsman,

  • nlight on June 20, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Hales, Lumb, Wright, kp, Morgan, Buttler, Bopara, Woakes, Tredwell, Rankin + another bowler who won't get hit all over the park. I'm not seeing that player in the above list.

  • on June 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Stokes and Balance should get a chance

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Its nice to see him back in action . He is a superb batsman

  • jmcilhinney on June 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Fortunately there are not too many players from the England Test team who usually also play T20Is so the team doesn't have to be too disrupted keeping those in the Ashes squad out of that series. I can't help thinking that Jonny Bairstow at least would like to be playing though, given that he hasn't figured in either the CT or the preceding NZ ODI series. If he ends up warming the bench during the Ashes as well, which is likely barring injury, then he'll be a very frustrated man.

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Nice to see Hales included in the side after scoring just over 200 runs this season in all formats.

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I really hope Ballance gets a game. I've been saying for a couple of years that he will play for England soon and I hope this is the start of his long international career

  • on June 20, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    Dernbach? Is he still an option? Blimey, i'll have to find my whites, maybe i have a chance as i can't bowl either.....

  • Munkeymomo on June 20, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @nlight: Agreed, wouldn't mind seeing Meaker in place of Dernbach personally. Briggs is probably the best of the lot. Probably go with Stokes personally, while there are better bowlers in the circuit, at least he provides extra batting and is genuinely better than Jade.

    Hales, KP, Lumb, Wright, Morg, Buttler, Bops, Stokes, Woakes, Tredwell, Rankin.

  • SDHM on June 20, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Difficult to pick a starting line up out of that lot - you'd think Stokes & Bopara were competing for the same spot for a start, and seeing as Lumb & Hales have started to form a good partnership at the top, where does KP slot in? The bowling doesn't look great - Dernbach's T20 record is much better than his ODI one but it's still nothing to shout about, and Rankin's only ever played 3 games! Woakes too is just not a white ball bowler - with this squad they seem to have realised Bairstow isn't much of a limited overs player, so I'd have hoped they'd have done the same for Woakes. England still do this too much: pick players who aren't comfortable in the shorter forms to see if they're suited for Tests. Where's the logic in that?