Former Australian Test captain Steve Waugh has urged England to forget about Kevin Pietersen and his bid to return to the Test side.
(Video) Jimmy Anderson becomes England’s all-time leading wicket taker in Tests, but can’t prevent a disappointing draw
South Africa coach says Cricket World Cup semi-final team was changed to fill racial quota
Richie Benaud: Shane Warne posts touching tribute to cricketing great
Pietersen has not played for his national side since his sacking following England’s disastrous 2013/14 Ashes loss to Australia.
The 34-year-old has expressed his desire to return to the Test setup and was granted an early release from his IPL contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad to join Surrey for the County season.
Pietersen’s County return did not go to plan on the weekend after he was dismissed for 19 off 28 balls against Glamorgan.
Waugh says the South Africa-born batsman was “not a great player” at present and that his form was not good enough to earn him a Test recall.
“England have got to make a clean break and look forward to the future,” Waugh is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“Sometimes you have to have short-term pain to get the long-term gain.
“I don’t think he’s a great player right now. Setting aside all the other things, I don’t think his form warranted a spot in the England side.
“He may have been a great player but I wouldn’t class him as one now.”
Pietersen’s superb record at Test level means he will go down as one of England’s greatest batsman ever, but Waugh says the outspoken star’s off-field dramas had to be taken into account.
“First, he has to be one of the best six batsmen in the country, which he’s not. Then is he right for the current set-up? Does he fit in how the team is moving forward? Can he work with the captain and other players? Obviously there have been some issues. That’s part of the reason why he’s not there now,” Waugh said
“Unless he’s changed as a person and a personality – and that’s hard to do – I don’t know how you go back to what happened before.
“The number one thing is you’ve got to respect each other. Once this stops you’re in real trouble. And I think that’s probably happened over the past couple of years.”
Pietersen’s record at Test level is hard to ignore however, having scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47.28.
He also notched up 23 centuries in 104 Tests.