Broad planning ahead

PA Sport
The absence of Kevin Pietersen, pictured, is a non-issue for Stuart Broad
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The absence of Kevin Pietersen, pictured, is a non-issue for Stuart Broad

England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad will not dwell on the absence of Kevin Pietersen for the three-match series against South Africa and the 20-over World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen is unavailable as the saga of his limited-overs retirement and subsequent Test axing over derogatory texts sent to Proteas players rumbles on. His presence would surely have strengthened England's batting line-up in the shortest format but Broad is focusing on the players still at his disposal.

The ease with which Nottinghamshire's Alex Hales stepped into Pietersen's opening role, making 99 from 68 balls against the West Indies in Nottingham in June, undoubtedly makes matters easier. And Broad told Sky Sports News: "The planning started, for these games and the World Cup, from Trent Bridge."

He added: "KP had made himself unavailable for the World Cup and his replacement came in and got the highest score for an English batsman. The planning had already been set in place, Alex Hales came in and did very well and that's what we've been focusing on.

"We've got a great squad here and we're really excited about the next month. We've got guys who are hungry and keen to develop their skills, and going to Sri Lanka we're very excited to do that."

The games on Saturday and next Monday and Wednesday will, as seems inevitable this summer, see England and South Africa battle for the number one spot in the world rankings. The Proteas won the three-Test series 2-0 to take the ICC mace but England hold the one-day shield after that series was drawn 2-2.

Broad said: "It's the start to our World Cup campaign and we're looking to gain momentum throughout this series. The Test and one-day series didn't go exactly according to plan but we've got the responsibility to do that over the next week.

"South Africa, I think, are number one in the Twenty20 format, so we know we're up against a tough team but we've played some really good Twenty20 cricket over the past year. We need to develop on that and move forward ahead of Sri Lanka."

James Anderson has been brought into England's squad as fast bowling cover as a result of niggling injuries to Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan. And Broad said: "We've got a couple of niggles, it tends to happen at the end of an English season, so we're probably going to look to be careful and look after the quicks a little bit.

"We've got a tough month coming up and there are a couple of niggles but nothing too major. We had 15 so we had to bring in somebody who's not in the squad. Jimmy's been a regular bowler for us - he's not played Twenty20 cricket for a while and not played a lot of domestic Twenty20 cricket because of the international schedule but we know what he offers and we know he's got the skills to deliver."

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