BBC BLOGS - Oliver Brett
« Previous | Main | Next »

The continuing struggles of Pietersen

Post categories:

Oliver Brett | 20:11 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010

The scenario is as follows: Mohammad Amir is bowling with more skill and more confidence than any teenage cricketer is entitled to have. His third ball of the morning has snaked viciously away from Alastair Cook's bat at the last minute to have the England opener caught behind, and Kevin Pietersen is fresh to the crease.

Pietersen watches Mohammad Asif send down a maiden to Jonathan Trott, before Amir begins his first full over of the morning. He takes guard and the typically hushed packed house at Lord's somehow goes even quieter for a second or two.

Amir plays a joker, sending down a delivery that is neither particularly straight, nor does a huge amount in the air or of the wicket.

It is out there - 18 inches outside off-stump, half-volley length - fairly glistening with temptation. But, with thick cloud cover, the ball still new and England 39-2, Pietersen must show the self-restraint of a monk, not the wilful abandon of Don Juan.

The front foot comes down the wicket, but nowhere near the pitch of the ball, the rash drive elicits a predictable edge, and the ball nestles unerringly in the gloves of Kamran Akmal. It's Pietersen's fourth golden duck in Test cricket, but what a way to do it.

If 2009 was thought to have represented something of an annus horribilis in Pietersen's career after four years of plenty, then there were at least some excuses to dish out - the acrimonious loss of the captaincy and an Achilles injury in the middle of the Ashes.

Kevin Pietersen

When he was named player of the tournament at the ICC World Twenty20 in May, it was generally felt that now was the time for him to turn his back on failure and resume the march towards something approaching cricketing greatness.

But something has gone very wrong. Apart from a score of 80 at Edgbaston when he had far more than his fair share of luck, his results in this series have been really ropey - 9, 22, 6, 23 and now Friday's golden duck which if only he had had the presence of mind to play himself in could have been so much more.

Getting past Amir would have opened up a chance of a big score: Stuart Broad, England's number nine, ended the day on 125 not out.

In a commendably frank TV interview broadcast during the course of Thursday's rain-dominated day, Pietersen told how his confidence was "hammered", how he was "nowhere near the person he used to be".

The timing was unfortunate, as by the time many of the spectators at Lord's on Friday were reading it in their morning papers, he was the man in Amir's firing line. And when he was out, nobody knew where to look.

Michael Vaughan, often credited as Pietersen's closest ally when both were England team-mates, was also candid when discussing the 30-year-old's plight on Test Match Special.

He refuses to believe this supremely talented player has technique issues to address, but suspects his mind is "cluttered" and that his "thought processes are wrong".

Eschewing the advice of Geoffrey Boycott, that Pietersen should register with a new county forthwith and play some four-day Championship matches, Vaughan feels a switch to coloured clothing may pay off and allow Pietersen to score some confidence-boosting runs in England's one-day series before boarding the plane to the Ashes.

The fact that four other specialist England batsmen, in other words all bar Jonathan Trott, have also produced poor overall form against Pakistan works in Pietersen's favour.
Although the currently injured Ian Bell is likely to return to fitness and push hard for a squad place, there is no obvious candidate to throw out from the current batsmen before the tour party is named.

Whether playing brilliantly, playing poorly, or courting controversy one way or another, Pietersen - who became a father for the first time in May - rarely stays out of the headlines for very long.

No player can command such a reputation that he becomes undroppable. But let us not forget that this is a player who has given many England cricket fans so much pleasure in his international career to date.

And unless his current malaise spirals out of control, he has just as much right to be part of England's Ashes line-up as several other contracted players.


  • Comment number 1.

    Kp should go as should Collingwood. I do not think KP even wants to go to Austrailia his mind is elsewhere. Bopara for collingwood Bell for KP

  • Comment number 2.

    What would Bopara for Collingwood achieve?

  • Comment number 3.

    I think Boycott is right - KP should be dropped for his own good and play some County matches. That's the only way he can get his confidence back. ODIs aren't enough.

  • Comment number 4.

    Collingwood will be eaten alive by Austrailia as will KP. Replacements needed. Bopara bowls and bats better than Collingwood.

  • Comment number 5.

    He's just become a father - even Roger Federer's form has fallen apart this year (by his standards) for the same reason.

    Why do people expect Sportsmen to be able to carry on as if nothing's happened. It's generally recognised as a life-changing event for heaven's sake!

  • Comment number 6.

    Think I read right Oliver saying KP has every RIGHT in spite of (1) bad form (b) frankly unprofessional attitude and (c) celeb behaviour in thinking he should not get some cricket with a non-Mayfair based county! He has to EARN the right. Grow up KP. Your technique is all over the place and you are easy meat for the Pakistan bowlers. Another one believing his own hype. Shame: he used to be quite promising!

  • Comment number 7.

    Hey, Rob. Try telling that to your employer. Especially if you are supposed to be one of the highest paid batsmen on the planet. Come on. He's gone soft!

  • Comment number 8.

    KP will top score in Aus.

    50 bones already says so.

  • Comment number 9.

    May I remind you rulechangecarzy that Collingwood was by far our best batsmen last time around and there is nobody better to have in tricky situation then Colly.

    Drop Cook, Morgan and Pieterson.

  • Comment number 10.

    Drop Cook and Peterson before it's too late for the Ashes. Colly's technique has always been flawed but he'll do the job more often than not. Invest in Morgan: he's got talent and temperament. Meanwhile the bowlers lagely pick themselves.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi, Rulechangecrazy. What does it take to impress you? Colley is middle-order, stitches the team together, bowls handily, and is England's most brilliant fielder. On top of that he's scored 10 test centuries and scored 207 against Australia last time round. Durham lads are tougher than Aussies!

  • Comment number 12.

    Oliver says KP should switch to coloured clothing! Is that so as to dazzle Amir and make it easier for him to bat?

  • Comment number 13.

    "And unless his current malaise spirals out of control"

    It's out of control. This is what 'out of control' looks like. He needs a break, for the ODIs at least.

    As for the comment "Bopara bowls and bats better than Collingwood." What a ridiculous statement!

  • Comment number 14.

    Those suggesting Bopara, anyone remember how Shane Warne's comments made his form totally collapse during the last Ashes series? The Aussies would like nothing better than to see his name on the teamsheet.

    If there have to be changes, pick someone with no baggage for the opposition to exploit. Remember the "crazy" decision to pick the uncapped Trott a year ago, a decision which went a long way towards winning us the Ashes...

  • Comment number 15.

    "there is no obvious candidate to throw out from the current batsmen before the tour party is named"

    I think your colleague Aggers would disagree, based on one very good innings he would drop a batsmen and play Broad at 7! Presumably hed drop Morgan/KP or Colly, with another of the 3 going when Bell returns.

    Dropping a batsmen with our current "issues" seems foolhardy in the extreme IMO.

    The main reason I agree with you though is the word "candidate" There is no 1 person who should be dropped, if KP is dropped so should be Strauss (who's been as bad this year) yet they won't drop the captain, even in poor form before the Ashes, they'll wait till we loose then do it! Also if KP goes Colly and Morgan will have to too, and we can't simply drop 5 batsmen! Hence they'll all stay. It is unfair in my opinion to single out any one for dropping as they are all currently as bad.

    Like England players sat at home during the World Cup, Bell's reputation is growing every time a batsman fails. I've even seen people saying he should come back at 3 with Trott opening! Because Bell batting at 3 worked so well before!

    No, In my opinion the Die is cast, after the 2nd test was the time to change, and then we were winning, we may take a few extra batsmen to play around with in the warm up games but that will be it. I'd bet my house that baring injury this team is going.

  • Comment number 16.

    said it on the main thread its about this time when colly's position is up for grabs that he gets an ugly ton and everyone stops calling for his head, expect the same in the 2nd inns if given the chance (honestly i am).

    Morgan i think is a long term colly replacement or at least thats the thinking but at this stage he has alot to work on for test match cricket the 130 was a sign of things to come not what he current has at least not consistantly. Bell at the moment will walk right back into the side at Moggy's expense.

    Pieterson desperately needs a county and the decision to go public saying he will leave Hampshire was the wrong thing to do and should of waited til the end of the season. The best thing for pieterson would in my opinion be to try and get cricket in australia similar to Strauss in New Zealand, and get used to those conditions down under in time for the ashes, and miss the ODI series completely as im with Geoffery on this one ODI's and t/20s isn't going to be enough for KP.

  • Comment number 17.

    4. At 9:28pm on 27 Aug 2010, Rulechangecrazy wrote:

    "Collingwood will be eaten alive by Austrailia as will KP. Replacements needed. Bopara bowls and bats better than Collingwood."

    Would this be the Collingwood who scored a double-ton in the last down-under series? And would this be the Bopara who was dropped last year after averaging under 20 in the Ashes?

    And Bopara's bowling, whilst useful in limited overs cricket, is ineffective in the longer format (just as Collingwood's is).

  • Comment number 18.

    I actually like Colly's bowling even in test matches. It seems to really get at some opposition. There aren't many "Medium Pace" bowlers as slow as him and it just gets at batsmen. He's certainly not an all-rounder by any strech of the imagination though but I'd certainly give him 4 or 5 overs when things are looking a bit rough. But the batting is what matters. Bopara is another Hick/Ramprakash. Great at county level and produces great test performances when things are going well for the team but not when things are hard.

  • Comment number 19.

    It's all stable door stuff and all blindingly obvious isn't it?

    If Cook and Pietersen were Australian they would have been sent back to club cricket before now and would be in with a shout of finding form for a recall for an Ashes fight. Meantime we'd have had a look at other worthy contenders in their position and be building a healthier playing stock.

    For all the recent improements in England team management and selection, it still seems pretty gutless sometimes to me.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Although the currently injured Ian Bell is likely to return to fitness and push hard for a squad place, there is no obvious candidate to throw out from the current batsmen before the tour party is named."
    I'm sorry? Bell is LIKELY to push hard for a SQUAD place? Bell was the best performing batsman over the winter tours and the first two tests of the English summer. He will walk straight back into the team, and it makes little difference which of the underperforming middle order he replaces. It will probably be Morgan, who has no previous test form to fall back on. I expect they will persevere with Collingwood on the strength of his previous heroic efforts. Pietersen needs some time out of the game to sort himself out but god knows who would replace him. Not Bopara, please.

  • Comment number 21.

    ha bell will walk back into the team? no chance! the selectors will be mindful of his form v the aussies previously. a walking rabbit against them!

  • Comment number 22.

    I live in Adelaide and I'll give you an Antipodean view of England's batting lineup.

    Ricky Ponting respects/fears Pietersen, Collingwood, Strauss and Trott (not necessarily in that order).

    He does not respect/fear Bell, Bopara and Cook.

    He is unsure as to what to make of Morgan, so he will give him respect, at least initially.

    I'll add to that two other comments:

    Cook is the biggest risk for England on technique;

    Pietersen is the biggest risk for England on current state of mind.

  • Comment number 23.

    I was really struck by the post-play interviews when Trott and Broad talked like true teammates; how they had helped each other; how they had constantly communicated. The body language was good and they looked and sounded like a partnership of equals. With KP on the other hand you always feel as though you are getting the KP show, good or bad, of late a lot more bad than good, to the exclusion of everyone else. I think England should learn and benefit from building on team spirit.

  • Comment number 24.

    I agree with the comment that Bell is becoming a better player in his absence due to the continued failures of our batsmen in this series.

    We could argue all day about who has the better temprament out of bell, bopara and morgan but they've either never played australia or been brutally exposed against them.

    The England management have played their cards pretty early and aren't likely to change the batting line up before the ashes.

    It seems quite certain that we will play 7 batsmen and in the managements eyes IMO that there is really only one place up for grabs (even then i think they have already decided) and that is number six.

    Straus - captain so never going to change

    Cook - they never wanted to drop him so his hundred in the last test stops the press asking

    Trott - looks solid and yesterday cements his place

    Pietersen - Australia fear him and dropping him would be such a headline that Strauss would be fielding questions on it for the whole series which would do no good at all.

    Collingwood - in terrible form but the england management like the all round game he brings (on and off the field) so they're not going to drop him.

    Morgan - Flower obviously loves him and his temprament. He is in posession so i don't see bell coming in for him. These last few test matches the ball has been doing everything so most batsmen have struggled. I back him to do well on australian pitches.

    What ever happens it's going to be a tough series but i back the men above to come good and bring the ashes home (sneaking a 2-1 series victory)

  • Comment number 25.

    The whole problem with Pieterson is practice-not just nets but real cricket matches.He is rusty and it shows.Great players need to play and the current England set up wraps up cricketers in cotton wool and hopes to keep them injury free.That may seem like a good idea but if you are not playing any sport you become slow to react and in cricket you have to react very quickly especially as a batsman.County cricket is dying on its feet and the bish bash bosh knockabout is not really cricket.Cricket has become a victim of the times and the long game is far too expensive and time consuming for the average follower to watch at a ground bar the traditional festival/test games and even then grounds dont get filled anymore. The one day game has a much bigger following and will be the norm in a few years with county cricket just too expensive to maintain.With county crickets demise Test Cricket will have to come up with new ways to keep going if its to survive in this country because playing one day cricket is not the same as the concentration needed in the long game.Pieterson and others just need to play cricket and its quite obvious this isnt happening between tests.Getting a big score in 20-20 is irrelevent.

  • Comment number 26.

    5. I was pondering whether fatherhood may have been a factor, but then I can't remember it altering the way other cricketers had approached the game in the past (Strauss, Flintoff, Vaughan etc..) Then you mention Federer and I think well maybe. Not sure, all the same...

    6. His long-term record means he has earned the right to play in the Ashes I feel. I mean, he may do a Sergio Garcia and say: "you know what fellas, my mind isn't right I'm gonna sit this one out". Improbable though... If he had an Ashes disaster on a personal level, and England are thrashed, then obviously it may be time to rethink all sorts of things.

    11. I am a Collingwood fan but you can't describe his bowling as an asset in Test cricket, though in ODIs he's a completely different animal with the ball.

    15. That's the point, they're nearly all rubbish at the moment!

    ...and then there's an interesting Bell debate developing here, polarised opinions as ever.

    I'm hoping, incidentally, to round up a whole string of BBC pundits to pick their Ashes squads (of 16). That'll be just after this Test match.

    Phew, now where's the coffee machine?

  • Comment number 27.

    @ 22 bobbynoble

    Thanks for the information that your Captain fears 4 members of the England top order. It wasn't long ago that he called our captain a bunny - that was of course before he won the Ashes in large part by himself. With that and his 'uncertainty' your captain sounds like a chump.

    For the record I'm sure Strauss fears none of the Australian line-up.

    Back to the thread. If by Pieterson's own admission he is not the person he used to be then there's little point in continuing with him. England needs a 50+ avg man. Challenge him on how he intends to get back there. If his plans sound a bit too 'KP' then start looking elsewhere.

  • Comment number 28.


    Clearly you have a bone to pick with Pietersen. Yes you can claim his technique is not at its best at present, probably due to his mind being all over the shop. But your claims that hs is b) unprofessional and c) his celeb lifestyle choices mean wh should be dropped are so far off the mark.

    Anyone even slightly connected to the game will tell you how hard KP has been working on his batting in the nets (maybe too hard) so it's hardly unprofessional. He wants to work somewhere near where he lives - I guess so he can be closer to his family. I think from the outside and the interviews he gives, despite his outward confidence and bravado he is a pretty sensitive bloke, and things like family are extremely important to him. Possibly another reason for his current underperformance.

    My own view is that the Ashes should be the current top 6 with Bell replacing Morgan - who will be ready next time round. I would have liked to see Carberry or Lyth given a go instead of Cook this series but as they have limited experience they won't be going now. I hate the fact Cook is seen as undroppable as he will be the next skipper too. You should pick the captain from the best available players, and Cook hasn't been one of those for some time.

  • Comment number 29.

    I still dont understand olly how you can say there no obvious candidate to throw out for bell to replace. I am pretty sure it will be morgan thats due to experience, but cook and collingwood and pieterson would prob alll be worried if there were 2 or more batsman that were in bells form to come in. If strauss was not captain i would put him in that bracket too. It more who to leave out as bell must be a cert

  • Comment number 30.

    29. No you misunderstand me. They will take the top six we've seen this series PLUS Bell to Australia, then a dogfight will commence as to which of those seven get into the six starting berths for Brisbane.

  • Comment number 31.

    how many can england take to australia, because surely england would want to take more than 7 batsman given how we are currently performing, a 3rd opener and another middle order player along with Bell would be a smart move, get them acclimatised incase they are needed to replace one of the current lineup. so 9 batsman would be a smart move but again i don't know if there is a limit to the number of players that can tour.

  • Comment number 32.

    In many ways, having a discussion now about our top six for Brisbane is a bit pointless. I agree with olly that the seven to take on the plane pick themselves (sorry, Ravi, you will no doubt get another chance but Aus is not the place to be brought Back). As for the top six, that is surely a question of form; and I mean form in November not form now. We have two or three warm up games to assess current form before the first test - how they are playing now is of limited relevance. Just rewind a few months and Trott was the one everyone wanted out, Cook had been our beet batter in south africa and KP was god's gift after the world T20. With the exception of Morgan, they all have the track records to suggest they are international calibre so the question should be who is in good nick in the warm-up games. The tracks and conditions will also be very different down under from this 'summer' and should favour back foot players like cook over front foot players like trott.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ 32 they should favour all batsman not just those with back foot inclinations.

    The pitches will be alot flatter and the conditions will be alot warmer than what england and pakistan have been playing in during the england "summer" so KP could have ample opportunity to score some needed runs.

  • Comment number 34.

    Ian Bell should get injured more often. It's funny, or possibly sad, that both he and, to a lesser extent, Bopara almost acquire mythical status akin to the "second coming" when not in the team, but are usually the first names on the, "get 'em out of 'ere" list when in the team. If only their actual exploits reflected expectations when on the side-lines, Englands problems would be solved.

  • Comment number 35.

    I hope that yesterday's topsy turvy performance by England does not put the selectors off their game with regards to England's atrocious upper order batting!
    If the likes of Strauss, Cook and Pietersen are to be considered (unlikely Strauss would be left out!) then we face a tough time down under!
    You cannot rely on the others (ie Collingwood,Morgan,Prior etc) to get us out of trouble in serious Test competitions (Pakistan is not currently in that category!).
    Basically we have had no consistent opening batsman in the team or even a good no 3 or 4 this summer.
    They desperately need to sort this out and fast!
    (I still believe Cook should be left out for Australia - one decent innings is not enough - and Ian Bell reconsidered based on his quality/batting pedigree).
    At present Ponting is right to be fancying his chances!

  • Comment number 36.

    I still think Pietersen should not be left out for a number of reasons. If he gets his act together and starts to improve - I agree that he should go back to the counties for some extra practice(?) - I assume there's some time for that!?
    He can also be charismatic for the whole team even if he's not playing his best.
    I believe he's still a class act.
    We know what he is capable of doing.
    (most serious cricket commentators believe this).
    I would drop Morgan and Cook for the Australia tour - neither has performed well although Morgan did initially but not enduringly.

  • Comment number 37.

    @31. Standard squad would be 16, probably 7 batsmen, 2 keepers, 2 spinners, 5 seamers. But what England have done on past tours is had a performance/Lions squad training nearby, so they can parachute other players in due to injury/form concerns. I doubt they will name the extra batsmen you suggest in the original squad at least, they'll want to show faith in their first team.

    My compromise option would be selecting someone like SM Davies as the reserve keeper, leaving the option of both Davies and Prior playing in the middle order, one as a keeper, the other as a batsman.

  • Comment number 38.

    i made a comment yesterday that its all about risk management by the selectors just now

    they have two options , both have an associated risk.

    option one is to stick with the established players who are out of form , keeping faith with a winning team and hoping that the out of form players can turn it around. anyone who denies that cook , pietersen, collingwood and strauss dont have the ability required is either insane or allowing their own feelings to influence their opinions.

    option two is to replace one or more of those 4 with untested but inform players from the counties, guys like carberry, lyth and hildreth are the obvious candidates (i am assuming bell comes back in for morgan as a no-brainer). this option also has risks attached, can any of those guys make the step up to test match cricket and something which keeps getting ignored is how much disruption would there be behind the scenes from changing a team thats winning? does that send the right messages out to the players? would the new guys alter the "chemistry" of the squad ?

    atm i am fairly confident the selectors will put their money on option 1, whether thats a bet they win or not we wont know for a few months.

  • Comment number 39.

    All these endless permutations for the Ashes batting lineup rather brings a recent Edinburgh Fringe joke into context.
    "Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parent of the fat kid on sports day.", John Bishop

  • Comment number 40.

    We saw it in football in South Africa, there are untouchables in a team, which is fine when they are performing, and you can nurture them through a bad spell but the crux is this.

    You create an untouchable and you create a monster for yourself.

    Rooney has been dire for England, the stats I believe gave him as one of the worst players at the World Cup but the cunundrum is he is our best player, certainly technique wise. Likewise with Pietersen, he is going through a shocking period but in terms of facing the Aussies, who would they least like to see ?.

    The conundrum is this we as a nation rely too much on ONE star player. If Rooney did not perform, the rest of the good but hardly world class lot would not bring the rest of the team up to compensate, that is the situation with Pietersen.

    The best teams have always had either 3 really top notch batters or bowlers, we have quality but is that quality just good or top notch ? In both football and cricket, I would suggest we have good players to support Rooney and Pietersen but none that can carry their mantle.

  • Comment number 41.

    Some good bowling from Pakistan but one man does not make a team that is the reason England were able to extricate them selves from the very large hole that the England superstars had dug for themselves. Trott and Broad should be given the freedom of london prior to them being knighted. What happens today is not relevant to the pleasure that Trott and Broad gave every cricket lover yesterday. Performances like this only happen rarely and I am still reliving the ecstacy of their innings.
    The axe should now fall mercillessly on the under achievers in preparation for the Australians. Reputations that cannot be backed up by runs or wicket on the board cannot be tolerated any further and individuals who are under performing should be relegated back to their counties and lets blood some youngsters.

    Martin Gleeson

  • Comment number 42.

    Any team can have quality players and I have no doubt that every test playing country has players with outstanding ability. The key to playing test cricket is not just ability but the right mind set in front of the big crowd and not being phased by the ocassion. There are plenty of potentially great has beens knocking around who just couldn't cut it at test level,it doesnt suit everyone and England has had their fair share.The mix of being able to take pressure when batting and trying to keep out the best bowlers or bowl the right line to remove the very best batsmen is always there and the difference between success and failure is a fine line.As they say cricket can be a great leveller and either shower you in glory or make you feel very small.A side which doesnt have faith with its known class players is a side waiting to lose every test however there does come a point where you have to be hard and say-you are not firing on all cylinders and your out for the "time being" so improve and get your head together.Pieterson has now reached that point and England need him to rampage in Australia to demoralise bowlers.His great play in 2005 against Australia was not just luck or good batting it was in a different class to anyone else and you dont lose that ability you just mislay it for awhile.Come on KP we need you at your imperial best get yourself sorted.

  • Comment number 43.

    Pietersen is rapidly becoming the batting equivalent of Steve Harmison. Memories don't win matches.
    I would like to point out that while I've little faith in one or two under-achievers, I think Ponting and co (whose by now totally predictable pre-series baiting is a very poor advertisment for their country) should remember that THEIR BATSMEN couldn't handle the Pakistan attack either. At least we haven't managed to get bowled out for under 100!
    One final thing, Oliver: I think that fatherhood must be like captaincy: depends on the nature of the individual as to whether it has a positive or negative effect.

  • Comment number 44.

    If an emerging batsman cannot get into this England side, the state of English cricket must be so poor, as to be a worry for years to come. I can accept some of the defence put forward for Strauss, Cook and Collingwood, though their saving grace may well be the quality of their replacement.

    Pietersen is the major concern, to which I can only feel his own stupidity has left him in the position he is now in. I don't believe I have ever seen a player struggle so much mentally without something never being diagnosed at a later point. As great as he can be, there is very little chance of that returning on a sustained basis soon. Then there is the influence this has over the rest of the team, should Pietersen remain. How can you chastise Cook, Collingwood or Strauss, let aloe drop them when they have that reference point in the team?

    Pity, because I feel we have the possibility of one of our strongest teams for a long while, should we manage to sort these issues out.

  • Comment number 45.

    hi i just wanted to say i had a amazing day at lords yesterday i got too meet my hero vaughan he was the reason i started to play cricket i also met up with all the stars and it was a dream come true i have too drive back too germany in the morning at 2 but i will never forget this day can i also just say a big thank you too aggers assitant she is a lovely women and helped me meet all the stars i was over the moon still smiling now also can aggers ask tuffers if he can get me tickets to the question off sport roadshow in brum as i love question off sport if not can he try and get some for tickets for troops many thanks PTE R A DOORBAR

  • Comment number 46.

    Tend to agree with Oliver that the current 6 plus Bell will fight it out in Australia.
    However it is possible in view of KP's mental struggles and his own questionable Test credentials that Morgan might be replaced by Bopara in the squad.
    Because if Pietersen HAD to be left out at some point, the balance of the team would demand a free scoring aggressive player to replace him at 4, rather than others moving up one...
    No Tests left now to examine the alternatives. Perhaps the ODIs will throw some more light on the choices.

  • Comment number 47.

    Seeing as we're mentioning the Ashes squad, I'm expecting the following squad to be announced by the England selectors:

    01 Strauss (c)
    02 Cook
    03 Trott
    04 Pietersen
    05 Collingwood
    06 Bell
    07 Prior (wk)
    08 Broad
    09 Swann
    10 Anderson
    11 Finn
    12 Morgan
    13 S. Davies (wk)
    14 Carberry or Bresnan
    15 Panesar
    16 Shahzad

    I've included Panesar because I feel the selectors are unsure about Tredwell (only given a couple of overs in his last ODI), and that they'd rather have Rashid in the Lions or Performance Squad so he actually play games. Monty, meanwhile, is in good form for Sussex.

    The Lions or Performance squad will include Lyth, Bopara, Gale, Taylor, Carberry/Bresnan, Rashid, Plunkett, Mahmood, Harris and Onions (if fit).

  • Comment number 48.

    leve pietersen alone and he will get better boycot last centry

  • Comment number 49.

    Geoff Boycott is correct Petersen needs proper county cricket and told that he has got to produce meaningful runs before he is considered for the ashes if he rejects that sort of advice and the selectors still take him then he could be a disaster waiting to happen and a laughing stock

  • Comment number 50.

    Michael Vaughan may have been England Captain, but he is not TMS material with his schoolboy disrespect of CMJ & Blowers.
    The Cat surprisingly resonates the right spirit.

  • Comment number 51.

    I agree with GB he needs to be dropped. I am a Hampshire fan and have been disgusted with his attitude towards Hampshire this season after the contract discussions took place. London to Southampton is just over an hour- fact, so why does he have to complain he is too far from his family? Hants did so much for him and he's simply holding out for either Middx or Surrey to offer him the deal he wants-whatever happens its making his England form suffer when there afre currently far better batters around.(Final point- not being biast to Hants but Carberry? Jimmy Adams? James Vince? Hello selectors???!

  • Comment number 52.

    Panesar? Hollywood seeks stand-up comics...! But protect your day job...?

  • Comment number 53.

    A general point. I suppose that as we are in Ramadan, the Pakistan team are required to fast between sunrise and sunset. Would this explain some of the problems Pakistan are facing? If so, why has the match been scheduled for this special month for them?

  • Comment number 54.

    Unfortunately KP should be dropped he isn't on form at all. Alistair cook might be on his way back up after that century. On the whole I think apart from Strauss, Trott and Broad all the batting line up have their places under scrutiny. Personally I don't rate Ravi Bopara as a test cricketer, He got out far too cheaply against the aussies last year and wouldn't do any better than KP is atm. James Hildreth brought into the side. Hildreth has a good season for Somerset averaged 65/66 and scored a number of centuries.

  • Comment number 55.

    52. At 9:04pm on 28 Aug 2010, splendidsparrow wrote:

    Panesar? Hollywood seeks stand-up comics...! But protect your day job...?


    I'm serious. Tredwell isn't an international cricketer. Rashid would be better off playing with the Lions/Performance squad, only being brought in if we decide to have him as a fifth bowler (I would not play Panesar and Swann together, only one (and only Monty if Swann can't play, obviously)).

    Apart from that, what other spinners are there? Parry and Wainwright are the only two to spring to mind, but I can't see them being selected for an Ashes tour.

    Monty has taken 43 wickets (7th highest in Div 2) this season @ 24. I'm not a Monty fanboy by any means, and would not have even considered recalling him until recently, but his form this season has been pretty good and we know that he has had some success at international level.

  • Comment number 56.

    "A general point. I suppose that as we are in Ramadan, the Pakistan team are required to fast between sunrise and sunset. Would this explain some of the problems Pakistan are facing? If so, why has the match been scheduled for this special month for them?"

    Have you ever seen the Pakistanis refuse to take part in the frequent drinks breaks? The international cricket calendar has never taken account of religious observations, and nor should it - if any players are so religiously fervent, they can always decline to take part: no-one forces them to play.

    Would you be in favour of delaying the traditional Boxing Day (sorry to mention a Christian festival!) start to the Melbourne Test in the Ashes series so that those those who over-indulge on turkey, mince pies and trifle can have an extra day to recover?

  • Comment number 57.

    "A general point. I suppose that as we are in Ramadan, the Pakistan team are required to fast between sunrise and sunset. Would this explain some of the problems Pakistan are facing? If so, why has the match been scheduled for this special month for them?"

    No. 53: did you also notice that the previous Test Match (which Pakistan happened to win) was also held during their "special month"? Shouldn't that game have been rescheduled as well? You probably won't find many of the victorious side agreeing with you.

  • Comment number 58.

    I have quite a lot of sympathy for Pietersen.

    He top-scores with 80 for England in a winning match, and it gets criticised as an extraordinarily lucky 80.
    He top-scores with 90's and gets criticised for a dreadful shot that gets him out before 100.
    He top scores with centuries for England and gets criticised for not scoring "big centuries".

    And at all times he gets criticised for not being "a team player", whatever that means. So was Geoff Boycott when he scored centuries for England.
    Apart from not running-out the batsman at the other end (Geoff!), I'm not sure what hitting the ball has to do with being a "team player". It's not as if he needs to pass the ball to another team mate.
    After all, when a player is out in the middle, most of the rest of the team are often somewhere else watching the match on TV!

    Paul Bell, post 53#, I don't think people should believe everything they read about the importance of the timing of any single meal. If the All-Blacks don't win the next Rugby world cup, you won't hear any of them saying that it was because they forgot to have breakfast.

    And while people's religious beliefs and observances are, to a certain degree, up to them, the English side play cricket on a Sunday.......

  • Comment number 59.

    The England selectors have a proven record of patience and prudence and, as such, will remain on that continuum when they sit down to pick the team for this winter's tour to Australia.

    The entire top order has been lacking recently and they konw it. Every batsman yearns to turn his game around. The conditions Down Under might be the elexir they need to get back on track.

    I expect the selectors to keep the team intact with a little tweaking. Another reliable and intelligent spinner is needed. And that is certainly not Panesar.

    Another batsman will be considered. I'm sure they are looking at potential candidates for that coveted spot. A young man and new blood should be given the nod; not a proven failure like a Bopara.

    Kevin Pietersen, I'm certain, will come good. He is an amazing batsman when on song. I can't wait to see another sparkling knock from him and that trademark reverse sweep.

    This will be a far more competitive series than the farce currently underway. England to win 2-1.

  • Comment number 60.

    Boycott says he KP should be dropped and sent to a County to get his game back.

    Why should a County be saddled with that. He'll do nothing for them.

    He used Notts to qualify and promptly moved on (unlamented) Hampshire where he has done nothing of note. It was really pleasing that Hampshire refused to be pushed into playing him recently and chose to stick with the players that had got them where they are.

    I see that it appears that Surrey are likely to be the ones that have to repair his ego. I bet they're all looking forward to that.

    As for dropping Colly, why. He's had a lean spell with the bat in this series, but he's probably saved more runs in the field than others. Certainly more than Bopara would who is not much use in the field and no more reliable with the bat at that level. He's been tried and failed enough to convince anyone, I would have thought.

  • Comment number 61.

    Can anybody site a single occasion that has deemed all this animosity towards Pietersen deserved?

    Just what is it that makes people bare a grudge against him for pretty much his entire International career? What does he do today that doesn't make him a team player? Utterly embarrassing opinions from people who just don't like him, plain and simple. And I am at total odds as to why he gets so much negative attention. Every time he is out, whatever the fashion, it's "a disgrace" a clear indication of his ego and lack of team playing attributes - you speak to any of the young players coming into the side, they all look up to the likes of KP, they all bat around him.

    No centuries in 26 innings, still plenty of decent scores in that time - why is this never reported?

    He's gonna go to the Ashes and get 2 centuries. But people will still complain that it wasn't 4 centuries, or it was arrogant centuries.

    Why doesn't Brett start asking these people why they think he is arrogant, and lacking in team ethics? Instead of banging the same drum, just cos it's an easy story.

  • Comment number 62.

    Whether playing brilliantly, playing poorly, or courting controversy one way or another, Pietersen - who became a father for the first time in May - rarely stays out of the headlines for very long.


    Pietersen doesn't have to do anything to get into the headlines. How many times has someone from the bbc written this blog about this subject this summer?

  • Comment number 63.

    Trott was being written off after the South Africa tour as well. But the media don't remind us of the many, many times they call it wrong.

  • Comment number 64.

    Can anybody site a single occasion that has deemed all this animosity towards Pietersen deserved?

    Just what is it that makes people bare a grudge against him for pretty much his entire International career?


    Sadly, people just can't wait to jump on his back.

    Pietersen's "problem" is that as well as not being born in this country*, he just isn't a typical English cricketer. From the start, he was flamboyant, had a bizarre hairstyle, scored runs quicker than the rest of our top order, was a bit outspoken and had an 'ego'.

    For some reason, this just wasn't cricket for some people, and he's become seen as a selfish, arrogant person who plays for himself and not the team.

    *note that this isn't a dig from me, I am a staunch defender of the right of KP/Trott/Strauss/Prior/Lumb/etc to play for England.

  • Comment number 65.

    Kevin Pieterson

    had problems with South Africa
    had problems with Warwickshire
    had problems with Nottinghamshire
    had problems with Peter Moores
    had problems with the ECB over the IPL
    had problems with Hampshire

    is there a pattern here

    seems to me the the south african mercenary seems to have trouble wherever he goes

    thanks for your contribution since 2005 Kevin but its time to move on without you

  • Comment number 66.

    so what were these problems? Please go into detail, cos I'm tired of hearing people talk about these problems, but never actually reference them.

    Have you noticed England's fortunes pick up considerably since Peter Moores was replaced with Andy Flower?

    The only pattern seems to be unsubstantiated rubbish repeated often enough becomes fact

  • Comment number 67.


    ask the players from the teams I mention before you critisise my comment for being unsubstantiated rubbish

    and while you are at it dont forget even Mr Flintoff was hardly vocal in his support for the Mercenary when the Moores business blew up

    you know very well he had problems but presuming you are a supporter choose to ignore them

    well sir no one man is bigger than the side and guess what he uses now uses his twitter account to announce his absence from the latest one day squad

    fine team player NOT

    good riddance

  • Comment number 68.

    you seem to have a pretty good idea about all these claims, why can't you educate anyone?

  • Comment number 69.

    And as for Flintoff - he is hardly in a position to start criticising other players considering the drunken states he used to get in on tour (even being captain didn't stop him)

  • Comment number 70.

    I dont need to Kapnag

    dont need to at all

    6 against one

    i will take the 6

    over and out

  • Comment number 71.

    I'm with Kapnag!
    Kevin Pietersen is the best thing to happen to english cricket in the modern era. This obsession with his ego is ridiculous. All great sportsmen have a belief that makes them great and they underline this in their performances. Occasionally you find someone who is great and natuarally humble (Tendulkar) but they are the exception. KP is exuberent and flashy in the field (which is why he empties bars when he is on form) but I have never seen him be anything other than polite and sofltly spoken off it.

    The worst thing to happen to KP was the miscalculation of the ECB when asking him as a new captain to make recommendations about the future of English cricket as he saw it. He wanted a new coach (It is well known that a number of senior players including Vaughan didn't rate Moores). KP gave an honest appraisal and was sacked...

    This spectacular loss of faith in Englands best batsman is the reason why he has been struggling over the last 18 months pure and simple. He is fragile like the rest of us and has had to work extremely hard to get to where he has so if we could collectivlely get behind him his confidence would improve ergo his batting.

    One of the most damaging things about the blogasphere is this capacity of the participants to generalise, jump on band waggons, take out their frustration on people more successful than them and generally not think about the facts before writing.

    Kevin Pietersen (despite the 18 month slump) is still the most successful English batsman since Ken Barrington - something that should be celebrated.

  • Comment number 72.

    His technique has always been shaky, but it's taken a while for it to be exposed. Now he needs to work hard, take his ego out of the equation, and bat properly. If he doesn't, he'll just continue to struggle, particularly against the Aussies down under. He also needs time at the crease, so a move to Surrey is positive. But no-one must get carried away. Second division county cricket at the Oval on day one is a world away from Test cricket against Australia in Sydney on day five, with the Ashes possibly up for grabs. As for the rest of the batsmen, there seems no obvious replacements waiting in the wings. Bell should come back in, for Morgan if anybody.

  • Comment number 73.

    KP is a huge talent. Now and then batters and bowlers do have their ups and downs. Here in Anandwan we say "Confidence must rest your wrists". Best wishes to the elegant and supremely gifted Kevin.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.