• Australia in England 2012

Warne 'staggered' by Pietersen situation

ESPN staff
June 27, 2012
Kevin Pietersen is no longer a part of England's one-day set-up © AFP

Former Australia bowler Shane Warne believes England will still triumph over his country in their five-match one-day series, despite the "staggering" loss of batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Warne, shocked by Pietersen's retirement from both the one-day and Twenty20 formats of the international game, believes the blame for the unavailability of such a talented player lies firmly at the door of the ECB.

"Any team without Pietersen is significantly weaker. He's a match-winner," said Warne in the Sun.

"It staggers me, I'm very surprised the ECB didn't try to negotiate better, drop their egos and realise they should want to keep their best players.

"KP should have been able to play just Tests and Twenty20s. Who wouldn't want Kevin Pietersen in their side? He puts bums on seats as people love watching him.

"Australia will look at England's team without Kevin and will feel a lot better bowling to the rest."

Despite that assertion that Australia will feel more confident by facing an England side without Pietersen when they get the series underway at Lord's on Friday, Warne cannot foresee his country overcoming the hosts.

He added: "It's pretty hard to look past England. They've won six home one-day series in a row. England are clear favourites despite Australia being world No. 1."

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