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England even duller without 'KP'

The exit of the Kevin Pietersen only adds to the plethora of queries dogging Alastair Cook’s side.

The exit of the Kevin Pietersen only adds to the plethora of queries dogging Alastair Cook’s side. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Not really teeming with exciting strokemakers, England, from a fan's perspective, may have just become a lot less watchable after the unceremonious sacking of Kevin Pietersen.

The international career of Pietersen, without doubt the most talented and flamboyant England batsman of his generation, ended after the 33-year-old was kept out of the team's rebuilding process following their recent Ashes whitewash.

Every top team recognises the need for at least one maverick batsman whose unorthodox aggression can unsettle opposition.

David Warner does it with aplomb for Australia, while team mate Shane Watson can also step in.

India rely mostly on Virat Kohli and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to provide that spark while AB de Villiers does it for South Africa.

In Pietersen, England finally had a batsman whose batting and swagger injected the much-needed zing in an otherwise workmanlike batting line-up.

Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle, another master blaster with box office appeal, lamented Pietersen's loss for Caribbean crowds set to watch England's upcoming limited overs matches against the West Indies.

"No @KP24 for the Caribbean tour later this month against W.I? That's really sad for English/International cricket! Don't let the fans suffer," Gayle said on Twitter.

There was rarely a dull moment when 'KP' was at the crease, whether taking it to the bowlers or getting under the skin of opposition batsmen on the field.

His ability to lift the gloom, even in a losing cause, endeared him to cricket-lovers worldwide and may be what England fans miss the most as the team rebuilds.

The exit of the South Africa-born right-hander only adds to the plethora of queries dogging Alastair Cook's side.

No tailor-made number four batsman appears ready to step in to a team already rocked by the loss of number three batsman Jonathan Trott to a stress-related illness and the retirement of spinner Graeme Swann.

The experienced Trott's early exit from the Ashes caused shockwaves in the England camp. It remains to be seen how they cope with the loss of another experienced campaigner in Pietersen, who was the team's leading run-scorer in the test series Down Under.

The sprouting Twenty20 leagues across the world will, however, be glad for the extra time Pietersen now has in his hands.

Franchises across the globe will be vying for Pietersen's signature, even as England fans are left to rue his absence in national colours.

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