Stuart Broad backs England squad
England's Twenty20 squad are happy to face South Africa - and plan for the defence of their ICC world crown - without Kevin Pietersen.
- Related Content
However the impending announcement of the England and Wales Cricket Board's central contracts - and next week's plans to name a Test squad to tour India - impact on Pietersen's future, it has been known for the past month that the prodigal batsman will not feature in Stuart Broad's Twenty20 squad.
That means Broad has long been plotting England's three-match NatWest Twenty20s against South Africa, starting at Chester-le-Street tomorrow, and their World Twenty20 campaign in Sri Lanka this month and next without Pietersen's talents in the equation.
The South Africa-born batsman's reversal, last month, of his initial decision at the end of May to retire from all international limited-overs cricket changed little.
It did not broker his return in time to join England's defence of a trophy he helped them win, as man-of-the-series, in the West Indies two years ago; neither did it, even remotely it seems, convince coach Andy Flower, or anyone else in ECB management, that he should not be dropped after all for the Lord's Test.
Pietersen had angered his employers with a series of contract wrangles; then he became still more of an outcast for sending "provocative" texts - perhaps containing derogatory references to his then Test captain Andrew Strauss - to South African players during the Headingley Test.
That remains the situation, until further notice, even after last weekend's reported face-to-face meeting between Pietersen and Flower - a starting point in the process to discover whether there is any way back into the fold for the controversial 32-year-old.
Broad, meanwhile, is trying to follow in the footsteps of Paul Collingwood by leading England to World Twenty20 glory - and is confident about their prospects.
Asked if they can win again without Pietersen, he said: "Of course, yeah.
"Our planning started for the 'World Cup' with the Trent Bridge game (against West Indies) earlier in the summer."
Alex Hales, Pietersen's replacement at the top of the order, made a big-hitting 99 as England won that June fixture by seven wickets.
"Kevin had made himself unavailable, so obviously Alex came in and scored the highest score by an England batsman in Twenty20 cricket - and played beautifully and helped us win that game," added Broad.
"We've got eight of the 'World Cup' winners still in this squad; we've got a lot of domestic experience in the likes of Samit Patel and Jos Buttler.
"I think we have got a really exciting squad - so, of course, I think we've got a chance."
As for Pietersen's absence, England have simply become attuned to preparing without him.
"We've had a bit of time to get used to it," said Broad.
"It was a bit of a shock when he did retire. But he made that decision, and we obviously planned from then to be without him."
Broad, for one, is happy to leave it to others to work out whether Pietersen plays for his adopted country again.
He said: "It's purely an ECB call at the moment, isn't it?
"I do very much trust their call on it. I don't know all the ins and outs of it, but it's completely in their hands at the moment."
In the more immediate future, England's Twenty20 captain has minor concerns over the fitness of his bowling attack to face South Africa.
He broke the nail on the index finger of his bowling hand, in practice this morning, but expects to be fit.
Steven Finn was able to take full part in practice, but may not be risked because of his stiff back - and it seems his fellow seamer Tim Bresnan has little chance of playing after having a scan on the bowling elbow which required surgery last December and then kept him out of England's Test series defeat against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
"I lost my nail," said Broad.
"It's not very pretty at the minute, a bit frustrating on my bowling finger - but it will be fine.
On Finn, he added: "He's okay. We're not 100% sure on tomorrow yet; he's got a bit of a sore back which ruled him out of the last one-dayer.
"I'm quite conscious that we'll want him in Colombo, so we don't want to blow a gasket just yet.
"It's quite important that we make sure he's 100% right if he plays tomorrow.
"Bressie's had a scan this morning, and we're still waiting for the reports on that."