Why the delay?

With the selectors deciding to delay naming the Indian touring party until next week, I am now starting to come round to the belief that this is too give them more time to possibly smooth the path for a return to the squad for Kevin Pietersen.

Given the evidence I have read, if what I perceive to be true, then I think it is only right that Pietersen is returned to the squad.

Now before I get panned for that opinion, I would like to stress that I believe this should be his last chance (if selected) as he has been out of order and a total prat. I also believe he is his own worst enemy and makes life difficult for himself and others around him, his track record shows that.

If the texts were telling South Africa how to get Strauss out, then as bad as that is, I don’t think he was revealing any trade secrets. I’m sure Sky Sports have more than highlighted how to dismiss Strauss over the past 10 years.

So why do I believe he should be given one last chance?

Well besides the fact that I think he is still England’s best batsman, I am also of the opinion that he is not the only guilty party in the England set up.

Of the other guilty parties, let me start with the T20 captain Stuart Broad. He is what is now regarded as a senior player within the England squad. Senior players or leaders are supposed to show responsibility, as an England captain what on earth was Broad doing letting a clique develop within the squad?

He not only let it develop and get out of hand, he was part of it. Is that the sort of behaviour befitting of an England captain?

Swann and Anderson, again senior players getting involved in a clique in the squad, rather than trying to defuse a situation.

Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Andy Flower. What were they doing during all this? Not much by the looks of things. Both Strauss and Flower have admitted they have should have nipped this in the bud.

There have been failures on all sides here. That’s why I hope Alastair Cook wipes the slate clean and starts again, all be it with Pietersen on a final warning.

As I stated above, I now believe the delay in naming the squad is because of Pietersen. It could be that the selectors are trying to canvass opinion and persuade the other players to accept him back into the squad.

Now I know team unity is important, but as far as I’m aware Anderson, Broad, Swann, etc don’t pick the test squad. If they are not professional enough to play alongside Pietersen then they shouldn’t be in the squad – and likewise Pietersen has to accept them.

In football Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole didn’t speak, but played together without a problem. Shane Warne never got on with John Buchanon, and I’d dare say he didn’t get on with plenty others, but it didn’t stop them all acting as a team unit.

England need to pick their best players to tour India, squad members should be able to cope with having a player they don’t like in the squad, after all they are supposed to be professionals.

It appears they haven’t been totally professional with their behaviour over the past few months, and in that I include Swann, Broad, Anderson, Pietersen, even Strauss and Flower to an extent with not stopping this crap. I hope that under Alastair Cook, England can regroup and be a full strength unit again in India.