England v South Africa: We could be better without Pietersen – Bresnan

Tim Bresnan claims England could be a "better side" without Kevin Pietersen ahead of the final Test against South Africa

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Bresnan believes England might be better without Pietersen The Sport Review

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Tim Bresnan believes England could be an “even better side” without Kevin Pietersen after the batsman was dropped for the final Test against South Africa at Lord’s.

The 32-year-old was axed by the ECB after he allegedly sent controversial text messages to Proteas players criticising captain Andrew Strauss.

“It may be an even better side. It’s one of those things where a talented player is being replaced by another,” said England bowler Bresnan.

“So why should we miss a certain individual because he’s unavailable for selection?”

England trail the tourists 1-0 in the three-match Test series after Pietersen’s unbeaten 149 saved the hosts from a second successive defeat at Headingley.

But Bresnan backed Pietersen’s replacement Jonny Bairstow to perform in the final Test, despite facing one of the most feared attacks in international Test cricket.

“If he gets stuck in and gets runs this week then I’m sure he will show what he can do on the world stage and how talented he is,” added Bresnan. “A new star could be born.

“Jonny is very talented and has a long way to go but, as time goes by, he will develop into one of the world’s best.”

The bowler also insisted the atmosphere in the England squad is positive despite the off-field drama.

“We met up yesterday, the mood in the camp was exceptional,” said Bresnan.

“It’s just like it always is to be fair, quite relaxed, quite focused, we’ve still got the drive and desire to get that win and that’s the ultimate thing really, that’s what we’re after.”

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