Broad puts Pietersen saga aside

  • Last Updated: September 14 2012, 14:24 BST

Stuart Broad will spend precious little time thinking about Kevin Pietersen in Sri Lanka, and will instead concentrate on the ''frightening'' players England do have at their disposal.

Stuart Broad speaks to the press on Friday

Prodigal batsman Pietersen may return to the England fold as early as next Tuesday, when the Test squad for India is thought likely to be announced.

One thing more certain - barring a highly unlikely turn of events - is that Pietersen will remain on the outside looking in as England begin their defence of the ICC World Twenty20 next week.

Captain Broad had barely set foot on Sri Lankan soil before it was made clear to him, in case it was not already, that it will take more than a near 6,000-mile journey in under 24 hours to stop people asking him questions about Pietersen.

Broad, however, has stock responses to stock queries - and had no trouble summoning them at his arrival press conference in Colombo.

Far from fretting about whether South Africa-born superstar Pietersen has played his last match for his adopted country, after his summer of contract wrangles with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Broad will put his mind to more appropriate matters.

It falls to him, after just nine competitive fixtures in charge during his 16 months to date as Twenty20 captain, to try to follow in the path of Paul Collingwood - the only cricketer so far to lead England to an ICC global trophy, in this same competition two years ago.

Broad is not about to allow the Pietersen controversy to deflect him from that ambition.

''It's not something we need to focus on as players,'' he said.

''It doesn't affect what we do on the field; whether you hit the ball for six, or nail your yorker or slower ball.

''That's what we're here to do.''

Broad's England will keep their eyes on what is in front of them.

''We need to stay very much within our 'bubble' as a team,'' he added.

''We have a very big one-game mentality.

''We're going to focus on our warm-up game against Australia [on Monday], play that, review it and move on; if we focus on those things and don't let outside influences disrupt us, we may have a really good opportunity.''

The captain is in no doubt that the world champions and number ones have the right personnel in place.

He continued: ''You've got to have the players in the changing room to win the 'World Cup', and I really believe we've got that.

''Now it's about performing those roles and skills we have; if we do that, I really believe we stand as good a chance as anyone here.

''The thing about Twenty20 cricket is, whereas in a Test match I've always thought you need nine or 10 players to perform well to win over five days, in this you probably need three guys to come off.

''You need one to smash 80 and a couple of bowlers to keep it tight.

''We've certainly got the players who can do that.

''I've got full belief in the squad we've got here. I see the guys in training every day, and it's frightening what they can do.

''Let's just hope we can put that on the world stage.''

England gave a glimpse of their potential, albeit in very different conditions, barely 48 hours ago - when Jos Buttler smashed Wayne Parnell out of Edgbaston, and everyone else did enough to consolidate that advantage in a series-levelling 28-run win.

Broad added: ''We're confident. We've got some talented players here, and played some really good Twenty20 cricket in the past year.

''We've got match-winners in the side. We saw Jos Buttler, the other night, completely change the game in an over - and that's the sort of thing you need in Twenty20 cricket.''

As for the missing ingredient - Pietersen was man-of-the-tournament when England beat the world in the West Indies - it is not as if Broad has discovered the absence at the last minute.

''Eight of us were involved last time we won the 'World Cup','' he said.

''But I think it was June 2 when KP retired from the one-day and Twenty20 format.

''We've had a bit of time to plan without get used to that.

''We've been planning for a while, and the 15 guys who are here are really excited to be here and have the opportunity to represent England in a 'World


''That's what you want, and it's an extremely proud moment to lead those guys on to the field of play.''

Pietersen did not deselect himself in the end; he was dropped for complicating his differences with the England and Wales Cricket Board by sending ''provocative'' text messages to opposition players during the Headingley Test.

Broad has no qualms about pressing on without him, and trusting a talented young squad.

''Unproven is probably the right word. But that doesn't mean they're not good enough,'' he said.

''Don't forget either that last time, when we went to the Caribbean and won, we had two debutants walk out and open the batting for us.''