Bresnan backs ECB decision but would welcome Pietersen back

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England presented a united and happy front as they adapted to life without Kevin Pietersen, and fine-tuned their preparations for the must-win Lord’s Test.

While Pietersen considered his next move - and it seems only a heart-felt apology for text messages allegedly sent to opposition players can salvage his career - England’s task is to find a way of beating South Africa without him.

Yorkshire’s England seamer Tim Bresnan voiced his “100 per cent” support for the ECB in deciding enough was enough - and being sufficiently strong to take action at such a high-profile moment, when their hard-earned number one Test status is on the line. “I think the ECB and the management have got to take a stance at some point,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily matter what’s going on in the calendar - if they feel the stance is now then the stance is now. Obviously, he’s said something or done something,” added Bresnan. “I don’t know what that is ... but if they feel they need to take that action, then I back them 100 per cent. I didn’t feel anything had changed inside the dressing-room - there was no bickering, no fighting, there was nothing.

“Personally I’ve got no problem with Kevin.

“So if everyone a lot higher up the pecking order than me says it’s deemed okay for him to come back and play, that’s fine by me.”