Miller: KP will be all right

2010-07-05 07:51

London - England selection supremo Geoff Miller predicted a big score was "just around the corner" for Kevin Pietersen after the star batsman was left out of the squad for the upcoming one-day series against Bangladesh.

Pietersen suffered a thigh injury while fielding against Australia in the fifth one-day international on Saturday.

His duck in a 42-run loss at Lord's represented a 16th straight ODI innings without a fifty -- a poor run for any top-order batsman and certainly one of his talent.

Yet even before his injury, the selectors had decided to rest Pietersen for the three one-dayers against Bangladesh, rather than allow him the chance of scoring runs against one of world cricket's weakest attacks.

"We would have rested him (anyway)," national selector Miller told Sky Sports.

Pietersen has barely averaged 18 in 11 ODI innings since returning from the Achilles injury which saw him miss most of England's Ashes series win over Australia last year.

But in May he was named man of the tournament at the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean after a series of match-winning displays guided England to their first major limited overs title.

"We know what his qualities are," Miller said. "Everybody is concerned when a batter is not getting runs, similarly when a bowler is not getting wickets or not bowling well.

"But we know very well he is very capable of getting big runs, and they will be just round the corner."

And for all his recent struggles, Pietersen still averages more than 40 in ODI and nearly 50 in Tests.

England have a packed schedule coming up, including a four Test home series against Pakistan before, in November, they begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia -- where they have not won a Test series since 1986. And then comes the World Cup in Asia.

In those circumstances, it is easy to see why England, even before his latest injury, saw little benefit in playing Pietersen against Bangladesh.

"The situation is he has a niggle, which we are very wary about," Miller said. "I think it is a minor injury.

"But we are obviously wary, because there is a lot of cricket coming up over the rest of the summer and the winter as well," former England off-spinner Miller added.

"I am sure he will be all right (for the Test series against Pakistan) but can't say that categorically at this stage. We are just being cautious. I think he will be all right in the very near future."

Pietersen has been replaced in the squad by fellow South Africa-born batsman Jonathan Trott.

England have also rested Graeme Swann, a regular in all three formats, and brought in James Tredwell as a like for like replacement for the off-spinner.