Ponting: England really needed KP and Swann

England

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has questions the ECB's decision to jettison Kevin Pietersen, saying the explosive batsman would have made a big difference to the side's fortunes in Bangladesh.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has questions the ECB's decision to jettison Kevin Pietersen, saying the explosive batsman would have made a big difference to the side's fortunes in Bangladesh.

England were knocked out of the World Twenty20 in the group stage, going so far as to lose their final game to Holland, and Ponting felt that had Pietersen, and the retired Graeme Swann, been there, things could have gone differently.

Ponting said of dropping KP: "They made a big call but there would have been a lot of thinking and a lot of evidence, I guess, into them making that decision because to cut your best player out of all forms of cricket for England is such a big decision to make.

"But they've obviously got their reasons for doing that. I'm pretty sure, though, that if Kevin Pietersen had been playing the way he was 12 months before that he'd still be in the England side – I think that's the bottom line.

"It was almost like there was an opportunity there because he wasn't scoring the runs that he had been scoring that they could leave him out of the side.

"If you put Swann and Pietersen into this England side, I can guarantee straight away that the results might have been a little bit different.

"Swann, one of the best spin bowlers in the world, would have bowled well and Kevin is a good player of spin as well so he would have played well in these conditions."

Ponting went on to say that all the blame couldn't be put on coach Ashley Giles, but that the top brass had to look back and decide if they picked the right combination of players for the conditions.

He added: "You can't just point the finger at one particular coach, person or player. Every one of those coaches would have worked those guys inside out. I think you've got to go back further than that and look at the selections – was that the right squad to send out there?

"When you are playing in those conditions, you need guys who can bat well in those conditions and you need lots of bowling options. If you look through the Australian team and the England team that haven't progressed I don't think we had many slow bowling options in our line-ups.

"Moeen Ali was a slow bowling option but he only bowled one over in all of the games. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the West Indies, India had four, five, six slow bowling options that they are using.

"England will say that they batted well and made 190 on a few occasions but they haven't been able to defend it because of those bowling options."

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