KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Jonny Bairstow has replaced Kevin Pietersen for England's must-win Test against South Africa at Lord's.
The Pietersen 'saga' has been playing behind the scenes since the South Africa born batsman made his 21st Test ton against the country of his birth in the drawn second Test at Headingley Carnegie.
England Managing Director of Cricket, Hugh Morris said: "During the past week we have held several discussions with Kevin Pietersen and his advisors. Following a constructive meeting it was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room.
"A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. This has not been forthcoming despite clear timelines being set to allow the Selectors to pick the squad for the 3rd Investec Test Match. We provided an additional six hours this morning to provide every opportunity for agreement to be reached but regrettably this has not been possible.
"The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust. Whilst we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected we have sadly had to conclude that, in the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lord’s Test."
Bairstow made his debut at Lord's against the West Indies earlier this summer, but was left out for Ravi Bopara in the first South Africa Test.
James Taylor, who replaced Bopara for the Headingley Test, is also retained, and is in-line for a move up the order with Bairstow favourite to regain his place at six.
However, Matt Prior presence as a quality Test number seven always offers Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss the option of playing five bowlers, and in the face of a must-win match, that is an option they may take.
Neither Steven Finn or Tim Bresnan made a compelling case to keep their place in Leeds, and Graham Onions could yet make a second Test appearance of the summer in either a four or five man attack.