London - Kevin Pietersen believes it was a "poor
decision" by England to drop Jason Roy during the Champions Trophy, a
tournament he believes the hosts "should have won" in their own conditions.
Before the one-day competition got underway, struggling
opening batsman Roy was given unequivocal backing by England captain Eoin
Morgan, who said he would "definitely" stay in the side for the whole
But after managing just 51 runs in eight ODI innings so far
this season, Roy was dropped for England's semi-final against Pakistan and
replaced at the top of the order by Jonny Bairstow.
Test wicket-keeper Bairstow made 43 but England, previously
unbeaten in the eight-team tournament, collapsed to 211 all out in a match
eventual champions Pakistan won by a commanding eight wickets in Cardiff.
"Everybody struggles, it's a learning curve," said
former England captain Pietersen, who has played alongside Roy at county side
Surrey, at the launch of the South African Global League Twenty20 tournament in
London on Monday.
Pietersen, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation,
added: "Everybody struggles, it's a learning curve. He's a youngster, he's
not going to nail his whole career. You go through ups and downs, he's a kid.
"What he'll learn to deal with is how quickly to get
himself out of this bit of bad form. Is he a bad player? No. He's a wonderful
player He shouldn't have been dropped. That was a poor decision.
"I think they should just have given him a run for the
rest of the tournament. I'm not saying they would have won that game but they
should have just stuck with it.
"They were scoring 300 regularly and then you drop a
player and you get what you get. It's not probably because of him getting
dropped, because I think Jonny (Bairstow) batted ok.
"I wouldn't have done it, but I'm not the coach or the
The 26-year-old Roy, like Pietersen born in South Africa,
returned to form with 92 from 81 balls in Surrey's One-Day Cup semi-final
victory over Worcestershire last week.
He could return to international duty on Wednesday when
England face the Proteas in the opening match of a Twenty20 series at
Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara, who has been playing
alongside Roy at Surrey this season, also said it was just a matter of time
before he came good for England again.
"I don't think Jason was ever out of form,"
Sangakkara told ESPNcricinfo during a Chance to Shine cricket charity event in
London on Tuesday.
"I would have loved to have seen him play against
Pakistan because I think he was one innings, or a bit of luck, away from doing
that for England."
Former Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara, who has himself been in
brilliant form this season for Surrey, with a run of high scores including five
hundreds in successive first-class innings, added: "But Jason's energy,
his fielding, his ability to change games at the top, he's a fantastic asset.
"I think he just needed a little bit of focusing and
advice about how to structure his innings in the Champions Trophy. (At
Worcester) he came back, took a deep breath, trusted what he knew and batted
England's only major limited overs tournament triumph of any
kind came when Pietersen was a key member of the side that won the 2010 World
Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
Hopes were high, however, that a team featuring Morgan,
all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Mark Wood could lift the Champions
Trophy and so end a 42-year wait for a comparable one-day international
"England are a wonderful young team," said Pietersen.
"I know that India and Pakistan won't like it, but in
strength in depth in English conditions, England should have won it.
"With the fire-power they have got and they players
they have got, they should have won this tournament."