WE WON’T MISS KP Eng­land may be bet­ter off with­out him, says Bres­nan

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Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

TIM BRES­NAN says Eng­land might be a bet­ter side with­out Kevin Pi­etersen.

All-rounder Bres­nan brushed aside sug­ges­tions that KP would be missed in the cru­cial third Test against South Africa, which starts at Lord’s on Thurs­day.

Pi­etersen was dropped by Eng­land af­ter fail­ing to re­veal the con­tents of text mes­sages al­legedly sent to South African play­ers dur­ing the draw at Head­in­g­ley, a re­sult which left the tour­ing Proteas 1-0 up in the three-match se­ries.

Jonny Bairstow has been brought in to re­place KP and Bres­nan be­lieves his fel­low York­shire­man is well up to the task.

Asked if he was con­scious about go­ing into the Test with­out a full-strength Eng­land side, Bres­nan in­sisted: “It may be an even bet­ter side.

“It’s one of those things where a tal­ented player is be­ing re­placed by an­other tal­ented player, so why should we miss a cer­tain in­di­vid­ual be­cause he’s un­avail­able for se­lec­tion?”

Bairstow, 22, was dropped by Eng­land af­ter his third Test against West Indies this sum­mer amid con­cerns he was hav­ing trou­ble han­dling the short ball at the high­est level.

But he was re­called af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury for Eng­land Lions against Aus­tralia A.

Bres­nan added: “KP’s a good player, we’ve got Jonny Bairstow to re­place him.

“He’s ob­vi­ously a very tal­ented player, he got a hun­dred last week, so he’s full of con­fi­dence and in great form.”

Bres­nan also in­sisted the mood in the Eng­land camp is “ex­cep­tional” head­ing into the fi­nal Test.

An­drew Strauss’ men need to win to pre­vent South Africa re­plac­ing them at the top of the world rank­ings.

“We met up and the mood in the camp was ex­cep­tional,” added 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.

“We will be pos­i­tive and ag­gres­sive.”

GOOD SHOUT: Bres­nan reck­ons Bairstow is a top-qual­ity re­place­ment

for Pi­etersen

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