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April 1, 2014
England opener Michael Carberry has questioned the man-management skills of coach Ashley Giles and expressed surprise at England's decision to end Kevin Pietersen's international career, declaring Pietersen had been "very helpful" on the Ashes tour.
Pietersen and Carberry were England's two leading run scorers during their disastrous Ashes series in Australia but by February Pietersen was gone from England's future plans and Carberry was unsure where he himself fitted in. Carberry was ignored by the England selectors throughout the ODI series that followed the Ashes and he said Giles, the limited-overs coach, had not shed any light on why that was the case.
"I had a brief chat with Ashley Giles during the fifth ODI in Adelaide and his response was that he didn't really know," Carberry said in an interview with the Guardian. "If you don't know, mate, I sure as hell won't know.
"It's that age-old word: man-management. I've accepted over my short and breezy England career that that's the way the selectors tend to do things. I wouldn't say I've been in the loop when it comes to why I've been left out. I've had to try and work it out for myself which, again, is disappointing."
Despite being one of England's more solid performers during the Ashes defeat, Carberry said that response from Giles left him wondering about his international future in all forms of the game, especially if Giles is named as Andy Flower's replacement as Test coach.
"Leaving Adelaide after our brief chat I've got to be honest, it didn't fill me with a great deal of optimism," Carberry said. "I feel that this is a question he should have answered. And, okay, if it's not him answering, it should be one of the selectors. But that's the way England like to do things. It disappoints me because I'm quite an approachable guy. Maybe I'm a bit straight-talking but it's the best way to be in this world - say what's on your mind."
Carberry said that "some very, very strange decisions have been made" since the tour of Australia, not least the ending of Pietersen's England career despite him being the team's leading run getter in the Ashes. As a 33-year-old trying to make a success of his second chance in the Test side, Carberry said he benefited from Pietersen's advice on the mental side of the game during the Ashes tour.
"It was a big surprise because I don't think anyone saw that coming," Carberry said. "Through the tour, certainly, Kev was very helpful to me. Over the years Kev, as one of the greats of the game, has always been very helpful in talking about the mental side. In England's position you want to retain that knowledge as much as you can. You hope he will still be around the county game for the benefit of the next generation."
Carberry also said he felt he received better feedback from the Australians than he had from within the England camp. "I've played against enough Australians to know they're very cagey with their compliments," he said, "so I must have shown a glimpse of something for them to say: 'Look, mate, you stood up through some serious spells'."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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