Swann backs ‘polarising’ Pietersen to help England get success against India

Johannesburg: Off spinner Graeme Swann has backed the polarizing figure of Kevin Pietersen to play a major role in what he believes can be a successful England Test side in India.

Pietersen is set to make his return to the Test arena in Ahmedabad on Thursday after missing the climax of England`s home series against his native South Africa having been dropped for sending provocative texts to Proteas players.

But with then England captain Andrew Strauss having since retired, Pietersen has been welcomed back into a top-order that would otherwise be short on experience.

Swann said there was no reason why the team, who lost their world number one ranking to South Africa in England earlier this year, would struggle to be united on the field as they go in search of a first Test series win in India since 1984/85.

"Of course we can be a unit again. You don`t have to like everyone you play with for the team to do well. But once you turn up, you have to pull together and be professional about things,” Sports24 quoted Swann, as saying.

“I don`t think I`ve played in many teams in which everyone gets on with everybody else,” he added.

“That is just the way of the world. It is like in business, you don`t always choose who you work with, you just get along. The bottom line is that the dressing-room is fine,” he said.

Swann added: “Pietersen is always going to be a fairly polarising character because of the way he is. But there is no reason why he cannot be part of a very successful England team, and be a very successful part of that team.”


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