BBC BLOGS - Test Match Special
« Previous | Main | Next »

Pietersen shows captaincy promise

Jonathan Agnew | 18:38 UK time, Saturday, 28 June 2008

This was a really poor batting performance by England, but in the field, at least, Kevin Pietersen showed a refreshingly positive attitude to the captaincy.

For a man who can't remember ever having led a team before - is anyone else amazed that he never even captained his school team? - he seemed calm and definitely in charge.

I liked the way he kept his slip in position in the 19th over of New Zealand's innings, and he was rewarded for that when Graeme Swann took the catch to remove the curiously subdued Brendon McCullum whose 23 came from 57 balls.

Pietersen also insisted on keeping his mid on and mid off inside the circle, pressurising the batsman to hit over the top.

Many captains prefer the safety first approach of posting at least one of them in the deep, but this merely gives the batsman an easy single.

Pietersen directs operations in the field

The one error Pietersen made in the field was to bowl Owais Shah for one over too many, and he got clobbered.

It was not easy in Paul Collingwood's absence cobbling 10 overs together from Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara and anyone else he could think of .

Shah's first two overs cost 13, but Pietersen should have realised that Jacob Oram, having lined him up, would then go on the attack. Two huge sixes flew into the stands, and his third over went for 17.

New Zealand were suddenly ticking, and 96 runs came from the last 10 overs, 61 off the last five.

England's batting continues to worry me. This was a very poor attempt at a run chase which, on an excellent pitch, was certainly within their grasp.

Ian Bell (27) and Alistair Cook (24) both committed the cardinal sin of getting in and then getting out without making a meaningful score. This brought Pietersen and Bopara together at the same time, and overs slipped away.

The pressure mounted when Pietersen sliced to gully for six, and I really have no idea what shot Bopara was attempting when he was clean bowled by Daniel Vettori for 30.

I was surprised when Tim Ambrose was brought in to keep wicket in this series - and disappointed for Phil Mustard - and this position will need to be revisited for the South African one-day series.

Ambrose dropped a straightforward catch, but it is his batting that is letting him down. Basically, he is too one-dimensional, relying almost entirely on the cut shot, which brought about his downfall again here and makes him easy to bowl at.

His series ends with a tally of 10 runs from 5 innings - not good enough batting at number seven.

After a hammering in the first match, New Zealand were full value for their 3-1 victory and had the umpires permitted one more over at Edgbaston, it would probably have been 4-1.


  • Comment number 1.

    bring back prior in place of ambrose

  • Comment number 2.

    Alas. I didn't see him smoking a cigar at mid on.

  • Comment number 3.

    I wouldnt say it looked too promising from where I was aggers.

    Another dreadfull performance against an average NZ side

    Really didnt like the look of the side today, so some reason we seemed to be a batsmen and a bowler light, to many buts and pieces players, not enough quality.

    Look at tail end, ambrose, swann, broad, sidebottom anderson, theres no big hitters there at all.

    some individual thoughts

    Ambrose - well the selectors need to have a look at themselves here, what a disaster mustard or prior to open.

    Bell - Looks like he's in his comfort zone and needs waking up a bit, could do with beign dropped in the tests and letting shah come in.

    Wright - needs to bat at 7 or 8 to finish off an endings but could be pushed up if we are behind the rate.

    Broad and shah and have done themselves no harm in this series.

    my team for the next ODI (looks alot stronger batting and bowling than the lineup today) 6 good batsmen 4 proper bowlers plus the alround ability of flintoff colly wright and bopara

    colly (mascheranus wile suspended)
    Swann (also rashid needs looking at)

  • Comment number 4.

    C'mon Agnew!! so much in praise of Pieterson in field that you are overlooking his responsibility as batsman.

    "The pressure mounted when Pietersen sliced to gully for six, and I really have no idea what shot Bopara was attempting when he was clean bowled by Daniel Vettori for 30."

    Bopara played well alas to the delivery where he couldnt read the flight.

  • Comment number 5.

    What a disappointment! I have got tickets for the One day match against the saffers at Lords on August 31st, and hope I don't see anything like that! It seems a poor investment for the £300 of my money that my 2 seats cost. I have calculated that this is less than half a seconds wages at Stanford rates (bearing in mind that only the opening batsman might work all of those seconds!). However, that is the best part of a week's wages for me, so I would like some value for money please.

  • Comment number 6.

    "For a man who can't remember ever having led a team before - is anyone else amazed that he never even captained his school team?"

    it doesn't say much for his memory - or your investigative skills Aggers when he captained a Notts 2nd XI previously (as noted by Rey on the TMSB Exiles site)

  • Comment number 7.

    Once again I think blaming the batsmen is very ex-bowlerlike of you Aggers. Conceeding 60 of the last 5 overs was a complete disaster. Poor bowling in the final overs is what lost us the last match, and it contributed a lot in this one too. Had we been a bit tighter and restricted NZ to say 240 we would have a much better chance, our batsmen batted like they never really thought they'd knock the runs off, and after their failure to get 180 odd last time out you can see why!

    On the NZ side of things you can see easily from the last 2 games how badly NZ missed Oram at the start of the series.

  • Comment number 8.

    I wasn't impressed by Pietersen as captain. I think the team missed Colly. Since Colly has been captain the team has been a real unit and prepared to fight.
    I thought they were very subdued. Rancour against the captain from the media was bound to have a bad psychological effect. Think of Australia after the India attack.
    As for Bell opening, how can he possibly be complacent as he is shoved up and down the order at will? He needs to be backed by Moores and allowed to settle in one position. Preferably at 3. Pietersen has shown that he can't handle the new ball. He needs to be at 4 or 5 to be swashbuckling. I like the way Bell is always blamed for getting out but not Pietersen. At least Bell maintained a decent run rate.

  • Comment number 9.

    Tremlett has to be in the teamwhy does Agers not like him.

    Why wont ask ask why he was dropped and in between has played excellent for Hants.

    Dont mention other players Agers to the best 12th man in cricket has got a game.

    be fair mate he was all over the place a couple of years ago.

    But is the best now

  • Comment number 10.

    The problem with the England one-day side is that I am not really sure what certain players are supposed to be batsmen or bowlers. Bopara, Wright, Shah, Collingwood et al seem to be jack of all trades players but master of none. On paper there is an illusion of batting and bowling depth, so it seems no-one takes responsibility.
    Also, we seem to be always cobbling together overs from various players.
    Without doubt England are not competitive with the batting and are seldom in a good position. The problem starts with openers. Then once Pietersen goes there is a void of players who can come in and make runs. Pietersen, himself, is inconsistent because everything is reliant on him.

  • Comment number 11.

    The selection was all wrong and then when you start tinkering with it .....well it goes wrong again.

    Lets be clear the batting is all wrong

    Bell and Cook ? No thank you.

    Wright ? Number 7

    Ambrose ? Absolutely 100 % NO NO NO !

    Bopara ? Needs a proper role

    Shah ? Needs a proper role

    Prior ? Yes please unfairly dropped . Lets not forget he only lost his place when he was injured Mustard came in and only did ok. Prior is the fiuture for the one day side and this will also allow Flintoff back in.

    Napier ? YES and more like him big strong and talented. We need more muscle we literally look weak

  • Comment number 12.

    Sorry Aggers, far too generous. We Kiwis are a very average team at present and to roll over like this in the one dayers is a poor reflection on England. Not enough from the stand in skipper I'm afraid both with the bat and the brain. England seem to be unable to get any kind of momentum going and their run rate always lets them down. Until they can consistently score at over 5 an over they will continue to struggle. But then, I don't really care do I ?
    Black Caps........ you beauties !!!!!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes, OK, so Pietersen did a better job as captain than many expected, whether or not he'd ever been one before, but making that the headline news, Aggers, smacks of the same old story of the well-beaten team cheering themselves up by saying "We can take a lot of positives from this experience". The blatant fact is that England were thumped today and in the ODI series as a whole and there are precious few "positives" going around.

    Lately, the bowlers have rarely let us down and they were just as good today, for forty overs. After that, it was a bit of a disaster.

    The Twenty-20 win and that of the first ODI at the Riverside, both of them impressive, may have led to a bit of complacency or even triumphalism. One swallow... as they say, even if this time there were two!

    I have often argued that the real problem is the batsmen and I still think that is the case. But who do England turn to? The people like Shah and Bopara, whom many pleaded should be given an(other) opportunity, have had it and didn't do at all badly. The problem is that, in one match, only two batsmen at most seem to come off and make a real contribution. Today it may be Pietersen and Bell, tomorrow Collingwood and Bopara. There is no consistent strength in depth. If the six top-order batsmen could average 40 or so, England would never score much less than 270, probably much more.

    Another worrying aspect is the fielding which, at best has been inconsistent and recently pretty scrappy.

    England lack toughness and killer instinct. They do not operate as a team. In contrast, the New Zealanders, with arguably a much poorer set of players, with much less experience, have done a very good job. So maybe the blame should be placed at the door of the captaincy and the management. And maybe, Aggers, your article today should have been talking, not about Pietersen, but a genuinely succesful captain, Daniel Vettori.

  • Comment number 14.

    The whole selection policy is flawed.
    Pick the best players - not those perceived to be good at the one day game.
    Go with two proper openers - Strauss and Cook. Drop Bell until he learns to build an innings of more than 40, leave out bit players like Wright and Bopara and most of all get a keeper that can at least catch and average in excess of 2. Ambrose is an embarrassment and gets in (as does Wright) purely on the strength of the Sussex link to Moore.
    And forget Pietersen as captain. He only plays for England because he wasn't good enough for South Africa. He's just a mercenary in my opinion.

  • Comment number 15.

    Davefromluton said And forget Pietersen as captain. He only plays for England because he wasn't good enough for South Africa. He's just a mercenary in my opinion.

    Comments like these are old and boring. If Pietersen is dropped it should be because he did not bat well.

    Aggers is right in KPs first cataincy role he did OK he certainly should carry on for the rest of Collys ban.

  • Comment number 16.

    Moore's the Coach, does not seem to have made any improvement to either the Test Team or the one day side. Perhaps he should be the first to go, together with Bell, Cooke, Bopara, Wright. Pietersen should be temporarily dropped to get his game together, and to prove that he he vulnerable.

    Collingwood is a good Captain, can bat and bowl as well as being an excellent fielder, so he should be retained.

    There are many good one day players in the Counties and they should be given a chance to prove themselves.

    What is there to lose - we could not field a worse team than the present unsuitable crowd.

    Norman West

  • Comment number 17.

    Growing up as a kid Pietersen always dreamed of one day captaining England.

  • Comment number 18.

    To angryand grumpyNormanWest, I don't agree with everything you say but I think you have hit the nail on the head when you question Peter Moores' record to date. No football manager would enjoy the same impunity from criticism as he has.

    I'm not saying he should be kicked out tomorrow, togther with the players you mention, but his role and performance should be subject to much more scrutiny.

    The game of cricket is going through rapid and important Rchanges. Whatever we may think about Twenty20, the fact is that it is likely to bring much-needed money to the game, lots of it. That will bring with it pressures to take decisions on commercial grounds, similar to those that are taken every month in underperforming football teams. Like it or not, management will feel those pressures.

    For far too long, appointments to positions in cricketing management at national and county levels were tainted with the suspicion that the "old boy" network was at work. I don't think that is true any more but I do think that the culture of rewards for results has not yet completely filtered through. That is why it is still very rare for cricketing managers like Peter Moores to be put on the spot publicly and asked to account for the poor performance of the team. It is always the players, the selectors or occasionally the captain that get it in the neck. If it is the selectors, and it often is, noone seems to make the direct connection to the management, i.e. Peter Moores or his colleagues in the counties.

    By the way, I also agree with you that there are many good ODI prospects in the counties that have not been given proper consideration. And who might be responsible for that?

  • Comment number 19.

    We've been pleasantly surprised at KP's seeming to have matured of late. Here's hoping that he's realised that "figjam" is just one part of a balanced diet!
    Keep it going, KP - today's game wasn't the best showcase for your leadership skills. You were dropped into a deeply unpleasant mire of others' making, and a game that had to be won if England were not to look like a bunch of dodos should it be lost. Let's hope KP is given another chance to prove he is far more than the "mercenary" some other bloggers perceive him to be.
    PS Well done NZ - a brilliant day's cricket. Enjoy your celebrations, theyr'e well deserved!
    PPS Hands off Adil Rashid. He's OURS. Get your own. Gottit?

  • Comment number 20.


    Prior was dropped because he failed to do a job with the gloves. The only way he should return to the team is as an out and out batsman.
    Hardly the averages that are fit for an england player

    Flintoff's still returning for injury and looks doubtful
    As for Bell, in my opinion he's looked comfortable in 3/5 of the games, has a healthy average and although he has strugled for form recently, he has contributed a decent amount of runs to the cause.

  • Comment number 21.

    As usual Bell gets most of the blame. Yet if you look at the series stats he is the fourth highest scorer of both teams and scored more runs than Pietersen, despite Pietersen having made a hundred in one match. Bell put runs on the board at the top of the order in 4 of the five matches, giving the team a start at least. Yes, we know he should go on and make a big score more often but the constant criticism of him to the exclusion of the other batsmen is becoming very tedious.

  • Comment number 22.

    What a limp performance. It must even be obvious to their most ardent supporters that Bopara and Ambrose are not good enough to be in the one day team. At times it appears that Bopara has never held a bat in his life and Ambrose was frankly an embarrassment.
    However, they were not the only players at fault and criticism has to be directed at the seamers for once. The yorker seems to be a forgotten delivery. Have Siders, Broad and Jimmy never seen footage of Darren Gough and witnessed the success he had with this delivery?
    This series has clearly shown that this is yet another false dawn for the English one day team and no matter how compettitve and successful we have been in the test arena over the past 10 years there just doesn't seem to be any confidence or direction when it comes to the shorter format.

  • Comment number 23.

    We need to follow the example of the aussies and build a team of one-day specialists. Combine this with a few key players kept from the longer form of the game i.e. Pieterson, Colly, Broad (players who seem to be able to play both effectively).

    They have the likes of Watson, White, Bracken and now Marsh who never get a look in for the Tests. But you dont have be good at both to succeed. Its time Cook, Sidebottom and co were rested for young athletic all-rounders who can strangle teams for runs and take tough catches.

    We will never compete if we cant adapt to the modern way of always....

  • Comment number 24.

    Oh, and what happened to the most accomplished player in the shorter from of the game....Mascherenas...??

  • Comment number 25.

    It is quite easy being a captain even though KP has never captained even a school team (although some posters have mentioned that he has captained more illustrious teams). This current England squad will make any captain look good.

    The basic point it, the squad is very mediocre and average. Take this squad to a 3 month hard-fought series against teams like Australia, South Africa or India and see how these players perform. If you go thru some comments like #3 and #10, there are folks who resonate my views. Further, there is no point questioning Moores record or pedigree when all he got is this bunch of players.

    Which ones of the squad are bowlers or batsmen?
    Which ones of the squad are top order batsmen?
    Which ones can build innings as solid #3 and #4?
    Which ones are pinch hitters?
    Which ones are death bowlers?
    Who is the squad automatically select themselves consistently?
    Take a hard look at data - averages, fifties, hundreds, 5-for, 10-for. How many of this squad are truly world class?
    How many of this squad do you think deserve having the England crest on their shirt?
    And let us not even talk about wicket keepers because every single person residing in England has an opinion on who should keep wickets for England.

    Unless England sort this basic issues out, they can never develop as a proper cricketing nation. And the media, please, do not make heroes out of these people. I understand thenation is starved for success in the field of sports, but please keep up the quality of your reporting and do not bestow "greatness" so soon on these people.

  • Comment number 26.

    It was pretty poor all-round, the batting, bowling and catching left a lot of room for improvement. As for KP's captaincy, I wasn't impressed. England were in control, but lacked the bowling to make it count. What on earth was KP doing giving Shah three overs? Wright and Bopara I could understand, but Shah?

    England were one bowler short - again. I've yet to do some analysis of this tactic, I may never, but 72 off 10 overs is pretty woeful considering the others conceded 52 tops - an extra 20 runs given away to start with. Add to that dropped catches, some unforgiveably easy, and some usual poor dismissals and you can see why England finished well short. Big question marks have to go against the following players :

    Ambrose (Bat 2.50) - not good enough with the gloves to make up for a lack of runs.

    Wright (Bat 17.80, Ball 38.33) - neither one thing nor the other, it seems he isn't up to batting and is not good enough with the ball (as I and others predicted) If he can't do either to a higher level he needs to go, so much for a Test six as some 606ers suggested.

    Bopara (Bat 25.80, Ball 0/15) - another who needs to find runs or become an all-rounder, he and Wright aren't doing enough to be deemed worthwhile with the bat and if England are to bowl one short every ODI then one of them needs to justify himself somehow

    Pietersen (Bat 33.25) - yes, I am questioning his place. He scored 133 runs in the series, 110no in the first and 23 in the last four innings - 13, 4, 0, 6

    Sidebottom (Ball 75.00) - surprisingly went at 5.36 an over and only took two wickets, that isn't good enough when a side plays only four main bowlers. In fact his figures were 0/43, 2/55 and 0/52 which are ok but not great, at least a wicket or two short.

    I would have brought in Strauss as captain, he's in good Test form and has captained England before with an unbeaten record.

    Honestly though, England have been pretty poor in recent years, regardless of captain. It doesn't help that everyone else is playing more ODIs than England, we seem so wrapped up in theory and so incapable of making a theory work!

    1998 : P12 W3 L9 (Won 25.00%)
    1999 : P22 W9 L12 (Won 40.91%)
    2000 : P21 W11 L9 (Won 47.83%)
    2001 : P14 W5 L9 (Won 35.71%)
    2002 : P24 W11 L12 (Won 45.83%)
    2003 : P28 W13 L12 (Won 46.43%)
    2004 : P24 W12 L8 (Won 50.00%)
    2005 : P22 W8 L10 (Won 36.36%)
    2006 : P21 W5 L14 (Won 23.81%)
    2007 : P34 W18 L16 (Won 52.94%)
    2008 : P10 W2 L6 (Won 20.00%)

    *shows wins and losses only (only results that matter)

    Here's why some of those look remotely good :-

    2000 : played 8 vs Zimbabwe
    2003 : played 9 vs Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Namibia and Holland combined
    2004 : played 5 vs Zimbabwe
    2007 : Played 4 vs Kenya, Ireland, Bangladesh and Canada (World Cup) and a

    But still only four times in 11 calendar years have England won more ODIs than they've lost and that's not even taking into account playing rubbish sides like in 2004 and 2007. This year England have won two out of ten which currently stands at England's fourth worst win percentage in a calendar year and two of those higher involved 1 and 3 games respectively.

    1... 1976 : P3 W0 L3 (Won 0.00%)
    2... 1971 : P1 W0 L1 (Won 0.00%)
    3... 1990 : P16 W3 L11 (Won 18.75%)
    4... 2008 : P10 W2 L6 (Won 20.00%)
    5... 2006 : P21 W5 L14 (Won 23.81%)
    6... 1998 : P12 W3 L9 (Won 25.00%)
    =7. 1985 : P11 W3 L8 (Won 27.27%)
    =7. 1993 : P11 W3 L8 (Won 27.27%)
    9... 1981 : P7 W2 L5 (Won 28.57%)
    10. 1996 : P20 W7 L12 (Won 35.00%)

    If you disregard the top two on the grounds there weren't enough games played, five would be reasonable as a minimum if not ten, then England are on for one of their worst ODI years ever. South Africa won't be any pushover, we lost 4-1 last time we played more than a one-off against them.

    Five of those 10 years listed have come since the 1992 World Cup. 2001 is 11th, 2005 is 12th and 1999 is 14th. In fact if you were to do the top 20, ELEVEN would be since 1992 (11 out of 16 years since 1992). England supposedly have some of the best players ever, so do we blame luck (with injuries) or the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. It's no surprise to me England's approach to ODIs has changed, picking different XIs to the Test XI, experimenting with pinch-hitting, playing all-rounders, then specialists, then bits n pieces cricketers and all in all coming up well short of a tactic they can make work.

    It's no good copying other teams and hoping, at the moment the England side has a couple of batsmen who don't look good enough, a keeper who can't score runs and carrying those three who don't score (enough) runs with only four main bowlers. So in effect England are giving away extra runs for the benefit of extra batting and the extra batting isn't doing the job. Time for a change of selectors and a new 'think tank' methinks, the current lot are doing a terrible job

  • Comment number 27.

    WHAT??!!! I cant believe what I am hearing. Good captaincy? refreshing? Is this not the reason england do so badly? we build up mediocrity.

    England should have beaten new zealand hands down, if you believe the hype of the coach, players, and commentators.

    Who was more experienced? who has the better stats? who has a wider pool to pick players from? who was left decimated by the icl and retirements?

    I urge all fans to boycott this beautiful game until we get some justice.

    As for KP generally I heve never been a fan. He was meant to be the flair player, good at making runs in the short form etc. But I think he knows (as do all england players) that get one good score a series and then you can sit on your laurels for the rst of the series and will still get chosen.

  • Comment number 28.

    Ok I have had enough. We need a new look at our ODI batting. I think that it is essential that the openers know what they are doing and have experience in the role allowing the swashbucklers to follow mixed with a few nurdlers.
    How about this for a team for South Africa.

    Tht should do it

  • Comment number 29.

    Nice analysis, The Darkness Is Calling.

    I wonder if any in the Heirarchy That Matters takes note of such things, or indeed whether they conduct their own scrutiny of the records, averages, and performances?

    Much ado was made about Strauss and his 'career saving' century in NZ, but Pietersen remained (and remains) a "great" batsman, even though the numbers clearly show he isn't. As NightRider said at #25, people are far too quick to bestow 'greatness' on players whose normal performance is mediocre at best, and only occasionally of International standard.

    One measure of ability might be to ask "which of the England players would Australia have in their team?" Apart from Broad, because of his youth and sterling prospects, I'm not sure any of our lot would make it into the squad, much less the team.

  • Comment number 30.

    noblefrustrated - your team has 12 players, and even if we managed to get 12 players onto the field, i don't suppose they'd beat S.Africa anyway.

    We need a complete rethinking of the side, instead of relying on the test batsmen we have to pick players who get runs in the friends provident and (to a lesser extent) the Pro40 and allow them to get a run in the side.

    My Squad at the moment would be

    Samit Patel

  • Comment number 31.

    "In contrast, the New Zealanders, with arguably a much poorer set of players, with much less experience, have done a very good job"

    Yes I'll argue with that, not the part about the Kiwis doing a very good job for their 3-1 win, but with the poorer set of players allegation.

    If I had to pick a combined ODI team, starting with the bowlers:

    You have to open with Mills (no. 10 ranked in world) and Southee (unranked). Top two wicket takers in the series, and unlike Anderson (31st) and Sidebottom (53rd), both can bat, Mills especially showing he can win games batting at 9. I'll miss Sidebottom's work at openside flanker however.

    Our third bowler would have to be Broad based on this series and his no. 12 ranking overall. Plus he's a handy batsman, even if he failed to deliver for England during the series. You'd have to bat 10 sorry Broady.

    For the spinners, Swann actually out-performed Vettori in terms of stats this series, and shows great promise for England, but of course you pick the man who is the top-ranked ODI bowler in world cricket and the best number eight playing today, not to mention being an obvious choice for captain across the two squads.

    No question about our all-rounder, J. D. P Oram (ranked 3rd).

    Batsmen, based on this series and overall rankings... Pietersen is our number one choice. Only man to make a hundred, and still 11th ranked in the world.

    Styris is our second choice, topped the averages and 2nd top run getter in the series, and he's the next best ranked at 22nd.

    After Styris come Collingwood (23rd) and Bell (25th), both in terms of ranking and runs this series.

    For your number 6 you'll have to toss-up between Shah (41st) who collected the most runs in the series and can roll the arm over and Elliot, who had the second best average behind Styris, and would be a handy bowling option. I'm taking Elliot, and who can refuse a man with a series bowling average of 8.8, and a batting average of 51+.

    For our keeper/opener I don't think anyone will pick Ambrose or a Mustard over McCullum.

    So Our Team:


    7 Kiwis and 4 Poms, and thus I conclude that it is England that has the poorer set players, and the series result was only to be expected. A-Thank-you.

  • Comment number 32.

    Agreed that when looking at individual players the kiwis would make a squad quicker than the englishplayers. and ther in lies the selection problem in my opinion.

    I follow cricket around the world (because I love the game). And in my humble opinion in any sport worldwide I have yet to see the reasoning for player selection that I hear in england. eg. too old, too young, not enough experience, experience etc etc.

    Let me elaborate. Ramprakash cant get into the team as he is too old. Ok what about hayden, Misbah ul haq, jayasuriya. I know most will say he has had his chance, but looking at his one day record last season surely deserves a chance. Age should not be a barrier for current one day series. pick the best that is the purpose of county cricket surely.

    Adil Rashid, needs to play in counties and get experience. Answer Tim Southee - who? (man of the series) and Stuart Broad could be the next beefy in my opinion.

    Tim Ambrose et al... rubbish series desrves chance? why because there is no competition??? what about ready at this moment, mustard, nixon even if we are having 2 different squads for test and one day/ 20-20.

    Lets wait for freddie Ha ha that will ensure victory... yes lets get truman back and graveney (RIP). Please am not disrespecting these greats. point is move o.

    Would australia do this? WHO CARES. yes they are a great side but they are australia in australia. this is england. lets look at our strengths.

    Sorry...rant over.

  • Comment number 33.

    Was it KP who, after the Riverside with (unbelievable arrogance), stated that the English Team wanted to (in effect) destroy NZ and send them home with nothing?
    As usual this England team and all associated with it speak a good game but are unable to back up words off the pitch with deeds on the pitch.
    How ridiculous the words of KP sound now. There is not one player in the team who should be confident of his place yet they all play as if they are fixtures within the team. Time to start kicking a few backsides

  • Comment number 34.

    As a notts fan i always keep a close eye on the wicket keeping and ambrose makes cricket painful to watch. The dropped catch was awful and he'll never convince me at the crease.

    Will chris read ever get another chance?

    He's one of the best wicket keepers in the world, he never makes mistakes and this season he's averaging 50 with the bat.

    Now he's captain at notts he has shown his fighting qualities in tough situations.
    I feel prior makes too many mistakes with the gloves but he's a class batsman and mustard isn't convincing.

    Isn't it time we picked a wicket keeper that can keep or are we to continue a search for an english gilchrist?

    Anyway there's my pro notts/read rant just wondered if anyone agrees.

    My team:


  • Comment number 35.

    More of the same. England get into a strong position then take their foot off the gas. Then, chasing a modest total, they blow it.

    And today, KP saying that "20s, 30s and 40s don't win matches."

    No, they don't. And neither do 6s (his score in this match) or 0s (the previous match).

    Why do the commentators always say, "Oh, that's the big wicket they needed ..." when KP is out cheaply? They seem to say it so often these days it's becoming hard to think of it as a big wicket anymore.

  • Comment number 36.

    Pieterson does a great South African accent and bats a bit. Why on earth he was chosen as captain is a mystery of Harry Potter standards.

  • Comment number 37.

    yeah great promise... apart from the fact that he scored 2 runs, and England lost the game by a hefty 51 runs. Pietersen stayed in slip for the 19th over. Superb.

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think one of Englands main problems is the refusal of the press and fans to admit that sometimes the opposition are quite good. England have been poor but NZ are the third best team in the world for good reason, they bat all the way down and Vettori is a world class bowler especially in ODIs.

  • Comment number 41.

    Everyone seems to be missing the point here, England are overated!

    Bell - Isn't mentally strong enough, a prime example of the English batsmens mentality (wouldn't pick him for Tests or one-dayers, when has he ever played a match-winning innings)

    Cook - Never a one-day player and should also watch out for his test place as his poor technique is getting found out at international level

    Pietersen - Seems to have lost some of the edge that made him such a an immensely fresh and aggressive presence when he first came into the team

    Collingwood - Average captain, decent all-rounder but no more than that

    Ambrose - Felt it was harsh to drop Mustard in the first place and Ambrose has shown no reason why he shouldn't become the fifth English wicket-keeper batsman to be dropped in the past 2 years in the one-day format

    Pace bowling looks promising and once we get Freddie back firing with bat and ball, it will solve many problems

    My team for S.A.:

    J. Denly
    P. Mustard
    K. Pietersen
    O. Shah
    R. Bopara
    L. Wright
    A. Flintoff
    G. Swann
    S. Broad
    R. Sidebottom
    J. Anderson/C. Tremlett/S. Jones

    Collingwood would come in instead of Wright/Bopara after ban

  • Comment number 42.

    Totally agree with #40 and 41.

  • Comment number 43.

    At the risk of being vilified, can I ask why Pietersen should still be an 'automatic pick'?
    Gone are the days where his appearance in an England shirt would cause a flurry of excitement (circa 2003 South Africa...), he quite frankly is a certainly better than average batsman, but no more than that. Without doubt, he is a genuine talent with the bat, and no-one can dispute his worthiness when on song, but quite frankly, his appearances when 'on song' are getting fewer and fewer. When was the last time he constructed not just one innings, but a run of perhaps 4 or 5 really decent scores - surely something that a world class batsman, an 'automatic pick' should be able to do, to say nothing of a man, who, by his own admission, enjoys a bit of the old 'FIGJAM'.
    I am a big KP fan, and most definately think he should be in the squad....I am just starting to get a tad sick of him being a 'A.P.' without really deserving such a title. Adam Gilchrist, yes. Sangakkara, yes. Shaun Pollock, yes. Pietersen? At the moment, no, but perhaps, if he fulfills his IMMENSE talent, some day in the future, he could be.

    ps - for those slightly confused, FIGJAM was an acronym used by KP himself, standing for ''Oh I'm Good Just Ask Me''.
    Althought perhaps, swap the 'oh' for something else... :)

  • Comment number 44.

    I think that everybody is goin way to deep, Moores is utterly useless.
    He hasnt added any new dimensions to the England game and should resign to save any blushes.
    He looks to cloe to the Sussex Squad and doesnt like any1 else than his 12 man squad.
    He should grow a pair and make bid decisions. Then England May have a chance.

    MY ODI team for SA TOUR
    2)IAN BELL
    4)KEVIN PIETERSEN (C) in Colly's adsense!
    5)MATT PRIOR (W/K)

    After Paul Collingwood has completed his ban he would come in for Ravi Bopara, who has yet to really impress.

    This team is well balanced a has fire power in the batting in the middle order ( which England have lacked)
    The Bowling is also strenghtened with 4 full out bowlers, and Dimi and Kp makin up the other 10. Broad is also an amazing batsman.

  • Comment number 45.

    The main problem we have is that we don't play the first 15 overs like the best sides in the world do. We prefer a half way house of a pinch hitter. Surely an attacking genuine batsman is what's required, someone like Rob Key.

    On the subject of Flintoff needing to make runs/ prove himself: if there was an ODI tomorrow against South Africa tomorrow, he'd very likely be our most potent or economical bowler regardless of batting so how can't he play?

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 Sussex 23 - I think you are right to question Peter Moores' competence.

    I agree that overall nothing has been done to add dimensions to the one-day game, and the test team has arguably become worse since he started (although the introduction of Ryan Sidebottom to the Test XI was a masterstroke).

    The problem is that the media and fans get too carried away. After the first one-day game it was all: "This is England's most aggressive ODI batting line-up for ages", "The England team is looking much more suited to one-day cricket now" and "When England play like this they can beat anybody". 4 games later and England have lost the series 3-1, and could easily have been 4-1. All of a sudden, "England need to ring the changes"

    Without claiming this to be the solution, this is my idea for the ODI team:

    Read (wk)

    With Collingwood banned, perhaps keep Ravi Bopara at #4. If Flintoff were to come back, which he should if fully fit, he could either bat at 6 for Wright or 8 for Mascarenhas. A bowling line-up of Sidebottom, Broad, Flintoff, Collingwood, Swann, Wright looks ok for the long-term. The batting has potential, but the batsmen need to go out there and prove themselves

  • Comment number 47.

    Lets not forget the administrators. Why do we still play 40 over cricket? If we care about international one day success, lets practice for it.

    If the county game is a proving ground for internationals, why don't we pick consistant county performers eg Martin-Jenkins, Samit Patel, Ramprakash et al?

    Also, am I imaginig things or decent slows do well in this form of the game?

    This lot would probably get thrashed like all the rest but here goes:


    The allrounders could be picked according to fitness, conditions, bans etc.

    I would give Bell the captaincy - it might retreive him from introspection - with Ramprakash as senior pro with permission to stick his oar in (he poses no long term threat)

  • Comment number 48.

    Give New Zealand some credit and stop blaming England.

    New Zealand have always been a world class ODI team, they are know ranked 3rd whereas England are 7th. New Zealand used to be ranked 2nd a while ago..

    Look at the players in the team, McCullum, Vettori, Oram, Styris, Mills, who have all played in the IPL..

    Vettori is the best ODI bowler in the world according to the rankings..would of been 5-0 if politics didnt get in the way at NZ cricket and Bond was playing.

    So please ease up on England, they were beaten by a far superior ODI team..

  • Comment number 49.

    A one day side with McCullum, Oram and Vettori is never going to be just average. The current ODI ranking proved justified.

  • Comment number 50.

    Agreed more credit needed to NZ. A decent ODI outfit, played well in the later games.
    England's problem really is the batting:
    the Test team has 6 serious international class batsmen , but Vaughan Strauss and generally Cook are deemed unsuitable for ODIs, and the replacements frankly look a bit short of international class.
    Honestly : can we really imagine Bopara Wright Mascarenas making , say , 70+ against a serious opponent ?
    Shah has done pretty well , but the others are no more than bits and pieces players and if any one is to be retained he must earn his spot by bowling a proper share of overs for a decent return, or else may as well give way to another pure batsman.
    Ambrose surely has to go before his ODI flops start to destabilise his Test credentials?
    Maybe :
    Collingwood (after ban)
    Freddie ??

    (Unfortunately without Freddie it doesn't look like shaking too many trees down, but hopefully he will stay fit and the younger ones will develop...)

  • Comment number 51.

    Pietersen might not play as well when he's captain.

  • Comment number 52.

    Trouble is, jtstriker9, Australia have a pool of players who are world class: 'one day specialists' of county standard in England are not going to cut it in international cricket.
    England's main problem in both forms of the game over the last three years has been the consistent(!) failure of the batsmen to take the initiative away from opposition bowling; to allow themselves to be dominated.
    Of the current team only Vaughan and Pietersen have ever shown themselves to be able to do this against the best bowling (Bell, Strauss and Collingwood have their own comfort zones and cannot really adapt to circumstances).
    I still believe that having a managment structure as we do now is not allowing players to think and work out solutions to problems themselves. We must stop trying to ape everything the Australians do and go with a system that has more relevance to bridging the gap between English county cricket and the international game - and I believe that means letting players find their OWN feet: those with genuine class will work out their game sooner or later, and while there may be a few poor results in the short run (what's new?) at least there should be some gain from it.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why has James Foster constantly been overlooked at test and one day level?

    I think he's really matured and often produces big scores when Essex are in difficult positions.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think on the whole England can take a lot of positives from this series but sadly they are hugely outweighed by the negatives. The big 2 wich stand out for me are the opening pair and the fact that englands bowling, as scott styris pointed out, is very predictable. Anderson and sidebottom open up then its broad and one of them then nothing, and thats when New Zealand attacked, when out nothing bowlers came on. Look at the way Darren gough marshalls his bowlers in the one day game, theres constant pressure all the time. I dont expect massive changes for the next series but the 3 for me would be:
    Mustard, did nothing wrong and very unlucky to be dropped, innovative opening batsman and tidy keeper. opens the innings
    S.Jones, the boys just been getting wickets for fun and providing he can stay fit he can add that much needed X-factor the england attack.
    Bresnan, an outside bet but really come to the fore now, bowls with good pace, accuracy and obvioulsy has come on leaps and bounds under gough.

  • Comment number 55.

    As stated somewhere above england build up their team better than they deserve. Just like the football team after either (football or cricket) team wins they talk them up to be among the best in the world.

    Lets not get past the point in the fifth ODI england let cook open even when he shouldn't have been in the team. He played one 20/20 game since he returned from injury. Why would you play him instead of mascheranas??? He has experience captaining so he could have helped Pieterson (also he played in the IPL were he played with the some of the best players in the world). Pieterson's captaining was medicore. He did nothing spectacular.

    They played wright opening the whole series one more game wont make a difference. Also it gives that lower order a lot more hitting power in the final few overs. Remember last year against india 0-6-6-6-6-6.

    Why not bring back flintoff for the tests. He looked in pretty good nick against Sussex.
    Why was ambrose brought into the side in the first place. Mustard looked a good player in NZ he got England of to good quick starts in the first 20 overs.

    Baring in mind two of the kiwis best players (Taylor and McCullum) didn't really play many innings of substance England should have taken advantage of that.

    My rant at its end

    My test side for SA:

    Probable side for SA:

    The exact same team as last time.

  • Comment number 56.

    Also just to say England had 1 century in five ODIs against NZ whereas in the Asia cup Sri Lanka had 5 centuries in 4 ODIs and India had 4 centuries in 4 ODIs. Also they very rarely get bowled out compared to england who survived the full fifty overs on just one occasion.

    Rant is truly over now.

  • Comment number 57.

    I often wonder if Aggers or anyone else, aoart from we bloggers, ever read the comments that people like me and many others often take a lot of time to write. We don't do it just to fill up the time before going to bed. We are genuinely concerned about or at least very interested in the fortunes of English cricket. Anyone who sets up a blog should normally listen to what people think and, at least, occasionally reply. That is what blogs are for.

  • Comment number 58.

    Davefromluton -

    "He only plays for England because he wasn't good enough for South Africa. He's just a mercenary in my opinion."

    I don't think I have heard such rubbish spoken before. KP gave up the chance for playing for SA because he was sick and tired of being overlooked due to SA's quota policies.

    It has been well documented that he came to England and played for Notts and Hants to earn England citizenship to have a chance at playing for England. He is easily as good as Kemp or Hall who regularly play for SA.

    Before spouting such tripe I suggest that you get your facts straight first as it will avoid being shown up to be ignorant in the future

  • Comment number 59.

    I am disappointed by the level of unqualified criticism of Bopara given a)his age b)the potential he undoubtedly has if we give him the opportunity.

    I remember Yuvraj Singh was for a long time a player who was inconsistent and at times looked out of his depth and he is now one of the most feared ODI players because India knew the talent was there and he just needed to be comfortable at the level he was playing in and let his ability come through.

    Bopara in my mind has the potential to unlock England's batting troubles and we should give him a fair opportunity (unless he repeatedly fails over and over and over again). However, in this series he has not disgraced himself, and he has played positive cricket, if not always looking like he was in control of what he was doing. Flintoff never ever looks like he's in control of his batting either yet he seems immune to this level of criticism and it makes me question what the motives are behind it.

    I think Shah needs to move up the order because he could be making big runs rather than slogging out with the tail. He has shown the ability to make ODI innings of significance.

    With batsmen like Shah, Flintoff, Pietersen and Bopara (if he comes through) we should have a fearsome middle order (Collingwood is quite good also lets not forget).

    The openers are a huge issue and we've never recovered from Trescothick leaving. Prior can't open but he can bat.

    I'd rather chew on a mangy dog leg than have to any further Strauss contribution to international one day cricket. Terrible idea.

    Try someone new and stop hoping past failures will suddenly turn out to be good in the face of all logic and past history.


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.