Former England off-spinner, Graeme Swann, in a recent interaction, talked about his complicated relationship with former teammate Kevin Pietersen.
The two English greats took England to the Test summit after famous away wins in the 2011 Ashes series and 2012 tour to India.
“We are a team that got to number one in the world, and in a team, there are always going to be individuals. Ninety-nine per cent of that side were all in it for the team,” Swann stated in a podcast called ‘Pink’.
Swann revealed about the two being direct about disliking each other. But as a professional, the two wanted each other in the English team.
“We were actually very similar in that way, and we actually got on me and KP professionally better than most people because we were very honest with but openly disliked each other. But wanted each other in the team,” continued Swann.
“I wanted KP in the team because he was scoring a lot of runs and playing really well, and simply he was one of the best batsmen in the world.”
During the 2012 tour, KP smashed a sparkling double-hundred in a turning pitch at Mumbai, which is still regarded as the most significant knock by a visiting batsman in India.
Also, the star-studded England lineup did what no other team could, with the 2-1 series win over India. England breached India’s fortress, breaking their undefeated streak at home since 2004.
However, England’s dominance in world cricket was cut short with their 5-0 humiliation down under during the 2013 Ashes series.
Pietersen was snubbed shortly after the infamous ‘text message scandal’ with the South African players during the Headingley Test in 2012. KP criticized former coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss in front of his friends in the South African team.
“There were times when it was all exterior things like the texting against Andrew Strauss. When you get to the point when you’re having these team meetings and discussing what you’re going to do about these text messages but the player is saying ‘I didn’t send them’. And then subsequently he says he did but only because they’re my mates, that certainly didn’t help things,” concluded Swann.
Pietersen was not considered for the England squad since, with Andrew Strauss taking up the directorship role in the England Cricket Board (ECB).