Tim Bresnan sees no reason why England should miss former Hampshire star Kevin Pietersen in the crucial third and final Test against South Africa - and suggested Andrew Strauss might have an “even better side” at his disposal.
Pietersen was dropped by England after failing to reveal the contents of text messages allegedly sent to South African players during the drawn match at Headingley, a result which left the touring Proteas 1-0 up in the three-match series.
England have replaced Pietersen with Jonny Bairstow and Bresnan believes his fellow Yorkshireman is a more than competent replacement.
Asked if he was conscious about going into the Test without a full-strength England side, Bresnan told a press conference today: “It may be an even better side, it's one of those things where a talented player is being replaced by another talented player. So why should we miss a certain individual because he's unavailable for selection?”
Bairstow, 22, was dropped by England after his third Test against West Indies this summer amid concerns he was having trouble handling the short ball at the highest level.
However, he was recalled this weekend after scoring a century for England Lions against Australia A last week.
Bresnan added: “He's (Pietersen) good player, we've got Jonny Bairstow to replace him. He's obviously a very talented player, he got a hundred last week, so he's full of confidence and in great form.”
Bowler Bresnan also insisted the mood in the England camp is “exceptional” heading into the Lord's Test, which the hosts need to win if they are to prevent South Africa replacing them at the top of the world rankings.
“We met up yesterday, the mood in the camp was exceptional, it's just like it always is to be fair, quite relaxed, quite focused, we've still got the drive and desire to get that win and that's the ultimate thing really, that's what we're after,” he said.
Bresnan is also backing the England team to rise to the challenge without Pietersen, saying: “We seem to play really well in the face of adversity. When we do come across must-win games like Melbourne, Colombo, we seem to pull it out the bag when it's needed.
“And it's not just one guy that's going to be able to it for us, it's a team effort. We all need to pull in the same direction and I'm sure that will happened this week.
“Whatever happens I think we'll be gunning for a win, which is how we play our best cricket , it's positive, it's aggressive and that's what we need to do to win this game of cricket.”