Brendon McCullum believes Kevin Pietersen missing the last Test for England is a huge confidence boost for the Kiwis.
With the currently three match Test series between New Zealand and England finely poised going into the last match, Black Caps skipper McCullum is pleased to see Pietersen missing from his opponent’s line-up.
The first two Tests of the series in Dunedin and Wellington were drawn, with England’s Pietersen scoring 73 in the second Test, meaning the third match on Friday will be the decider.
Yet with two days to go before the start of the five-day game in Auckland, the tourists announced that their star batsman would be out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury.
When asked if his side would be encouraged by Pietersen’s absence McCullum replied, “Definitely.”
“Pietersen is one of those who can take a game away from you very quickly so, even though he wasn’t at his best in this series, he was still able to make an impact in the last Test,” the New Zealand captain went on to say on Sky Sports.
“From their point of view, they still have some good options, but they certainly aren’t Kevin Pietersen.”
England have already announced that Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow will be the man to fill Pietersen’s large shoes.
The 23-year-old has yet to feature in this current Test series and England will be hoping the young batsman will take the opportunity to prove himself.
The deciding Test between New Zealand and England starts at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.