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Battle continues for shell-shocked Pietersen

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Tom Fordyce | 21:07 UK time, Wednesday, 1 September 2010

It was a bravura innings from the former England batsman - a century smashed off just 68 deliveries, the ball clattered to all well-rounded corners of The Oval, the crowd rapturous in their applause.

Unfortunately for Kevin Pietersen, the former England batsman in question was Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki.

This probably wasn't quite how KP envisaged the summer panning out: dismissed for a duck in his last Test innings after an awful series, dropped from the England one-day squad, and then back in the hutch for a mere meandering 38 as his first match for Surrey ended in heavy defeat.

Pietersen loves this particular patch of south London. It was here that he hit that magnificent 158 to seal the Ashes win five years ago; here that he put India to the sword for another century two years later; and here just two summers ago that he marked his first Test as England captain with a swashbuckling 100 against a stunned and silenced South Africa.

Initially there were a few familiar glimmers of the glamourpuss of old. The fancy-dan sunglasses were lowered into place, the Michael Jordan-style red sweatband pulled high up his arm, a security guard trotting alongside him as he came down the pavilion steps.

Pietersen is not the only England batsman on a bad run of form - photo: Reuters

In the field he shouted ostentatious advice to Surrey skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown, dived about enthusiastically and beamed with delight when asked to break up the party when Worcester were 269-3 in the 30th over.

That was about the last beaming we saw. In that one and only over, he had Gareth Andrew dropped in the deep second ball, and was then clubbed for successive sixes as 17 runs were taken off him.

Andrew went on to hit 104 in his side's huge total of 376. Even then, hopes remained high. KP loves a stage, delights in a challenge. The pitch was perfect for batting. Surely the scene was set for the great showman to silence the doubters?

Windmilling his arms as he jogged to the middle, his new and unfamiliar side 52-1 in the fifth over, he was off the mark first ball. Three deliveries later he drilled a dreamy drive through the leg-side field, and the well-scattered patrons shifted forward a touch in their seats.

For a while he seemed happy to play second fiddle to Hamilton-Brown. On eight he survived a big lbw appeal against Jack Shantry. For a couple of overs he then accelerated, slap-sweeping with muscular relish.

On 25, he was dropped down the leg-side off glove and back pad. That's the chance, you thought. Now he'll make them pay.

Shaaiq Choudhry had other ideas. If the catch off his own bowling was a sharp one, it was straight at him. Pietersen tipped his head back, grimaced at the heavens and turned on his heel, seen off by an unheralded journeyman who has played only three first-class matches in his life.

Whether Pietersen's foray back into county cricket pays off for England in the longer term is still a matter of conjecture.

It is all about England, too, no matter how many more spectators he might attract to Surrey matches (7,917 on Wednesday, up from 4,339 in the last comparable fixture). England are paying his wages, and it was the ECB who approached Surrey rather than vice-versa. "We were very pleased to oblige," admitted the county's chief executive Paul Sheldon. "We feel we're here very much to help England."

Two of the four matches he plays are 40-over affairs. On that basis you'd think he would be better off testing himself against the touring Pakistanis, both in terms of the quality of opposition and the sort of big match atmosphere he thrives on. And as England don't play 40-over cricket, there is a limit to what can be gained from any success in the format.

As far as the two four-day matches go, you could look at it either way. If he does score runs, can we really say that he's ready to face Australia in Brisbane? One of his Surrey team-mates has scored tens of thousands of county runs over the past 20 seasons, and only the most nostalgic would suggest that Mark Ramprakash should be on the plane to Austrlia.

"I could play county cricket and I'm 40 next week," reckons Darren Gough, who was Pietersen's best man at his wedding. "It's not in the same league."

If he doesn't score runs, does that mean England will leave him out of their Test side? Nope. Whatever happens during this experimental loan, England captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower will have him on their team sheet come the first Test in late November.

If it's about practice and polishing, it'll be an entirely new method for Pietersen. In the five years since he made his Test debut, he has had more tattoos than he has four-day county matches.

Hampshire v Somerset,Taunton, May 2008. That's it.

If it's about building confidence, the championship fixture against Glamorgan at the Oval batters' track might fit the bill, but Gloucestershire away could be a very different story - 24 wickets went down on the first day of the last county match at Bristol.

It might also be about more than just runs.

There are two schools of thought on KP. While some view him as a spoilt show-pony, paying the price for abandoning the traditional route through a cricketing career, others see a simple cove who needs love and attention as much as time in the middle if he is to produce his best.

"I've never felt so loved," he gushed happily after hitting 152 against South Africa at Lord's in 2008. Now, still apparently mourning the loss of the England captaincy 18 months ago, he looks like a lost soul. Will he get the adoration he requires on a chilly September Tuesday at the County Ground?

Pietersen is not the only England batsman on a bad run of form. Paul Collingwood averaged 19 in the recent series against Pakistan, four less than his demoted compadre. Eoin Morgan managed only one score over 50.

Yet neither Collingwood or Morgan have been sent back to their counties, which makes you wonder whether this move was as much a boot up the backside from the England hierarchy as a helping hand.

Former South Africa all-rounder Clive Rice, the man who persuaded Pietersen to move to England and join Nottinghamshire in 2001, is one who subscribes to that view.

"I'm sure that he has annoyed many of the authorities running English cricket," Rice told the BBC. "You can't have one player running away and thinking he can run the game the way he would like to run it."

Pietersen's own take on the situation appears a fluid one. What on Twitter on Tuesday seemed clear-cut ("Yep. Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too... Its a f*** up!!") was so quickly transformed in the official ECB version ("I fully understand the reasons. I have no issue with the selectors omitting me. My sole focus is now working on my game.") that you wondered what the same spin doctors might do for other notable events in history. ("'The Charge of the Light Brigade provided the ideal chance for me to work on my riding skills,' declared Lord Cardigan.")

"It's understandable that the selectors would like me to play some four-day cricket," Pietersen was quoted as saying by Wednesday afternoon."It will be a wonderful opportunity to get back into nick and get ready for a very exciting winter."

Whatever your preferred version, this is not the first bad run of form Pietersen has endured for his country. In the four months from December 2007 to March 2008 he went 10 Test innings without a 50.

Despite that, it is the most significant slump he has experienced. This is a man who exploded onto the international scene; he made more runs in his first 25 Tests than anyone else except Don Bradman.

Yet in his 31st year, questions remain. He averages less than 50 in Test cricket, and still awaits a career-defining series. If a list was compiled now of the best Test batsmen of the last decade, he would probably be outside the top five.

That, for a man of his talents and reputation, is not enough. Which is why, for the remainder of his time with Surrey, everything he does will come under the closest of scrutiny.

"He has to go and do the work," says Rice. "He has to play for Surrey and do an incredible amount of hard work to get himself back into form and get his head right.

"I just think Kevin's mind, watching him play in the recent games, has been in a bad state because he hasn't actually played. You can't just turn up and play."


  • Comment number 1.

    Form is temporary class is permanent. Miller and his chums don't know how to handle KP instead of making an example of him they should have let him bash an under strength Pakistan to all parts. It's not like they're not going to put him on the plane now is it?

  • Comment number 2.

    Correction Pirata they do know how to handle KP. They have pointed out he needs to get himself sorted out otherwise England will get stuffed in the winter. With him noncing about giving it "The big I am" England will get hammered as he flounders from duck to duck bad shot after bad shot. However, he is now aware that he is not indispensible & needs to work hard to remain in the team.
    I do find it amusing though that Surrey have got him for free but then after tonight....

    The real irony though is that the only reason this ODI series is going ahead is because the money men are telling the ECB it must. Amir has the excuse of youth for falling to the pressure of the mighty £££. what is Giles Clarkes?

  • Comment number 3.

    Tom - you ask how KP is different to Morgan and Collingwood.

    The latter two are out of nick. That's the ok with the selectors, who'll stick by them. The problem with KP is that mentally, he is lacking confidence.

    If a player is out of nick and mentally shot, then it's time to go back to county cricket. For example, Flower said that Bopara lost it mentally during last years Ashes, that's why he was dropped.

    Hopefully this break from international cricket will do KP some good. Without the pressures of the highest level, he might be able to relax a bit, get a couple of scores together and once people start singing his praises again, his confidence will return.

  • Comment number 4.

    Pietersen seems to be holding his bat too tightly. He should hold it tenderly, as if it were the broken leg of a robin redbreast. And he should play straight and sniff each ball, keeping his head down and in line.

    I heard Geoffrey Boycott say something like that, but not being much of a cricketer myself, I don't know it it helps much.

  • Comment number 5.

    ....if it helps much.

  • Comment number 6.

    Sometimes being dropped can be a positive turning point. Look at Strauss, he was a man possessed when he came back. Harmison and Prior have also made great comebacks after being dropped.

  • Comment number 7.

    I was at the Oval this evening, and while some shots were those of KP at his best, he was still scratching around and chasing wide balls unnecesarily. It was an ideal opportunity for him, with Rory Hamilton-Brown at the other end keeping the score moving along, taking the pressure off. I think one decent score in the Championship should just about restore the self-confidence at the core of his game.

    I had been unsure as to what the Surrey fans' reaction to Pietersen would be, but I think this was the first time I have ever heard another Surrey batsman get a louder reception than Mark Ramprakash as he walked out to bat, and his every touch of the ball in the field was applauded. I now look forward to seeing him against Glamorgan next week.

  • Comment number 8.

    Il Pirata: "Form is temporary, class is permanent" is an excuse made for top players far too often. If you'll excuse the football reference, I heard a lot of people saying just that when Fabio Capello assembled his squad before the World Cup - and look how well that turned out. I'd much rather have an in-form player in my team than a "classy" one.

  • Comment number 9.

    Boycott said recently that he had no problem with arrogance, saying every great batsman needs it. I disagree. What every player needs is extreme self-belief, but it needs to be tempered by being able to handle self-criticism and the desire to continue to improve. Time and time again you hear about the hard work done behind the scenes by the greatest players in every sport. Nadal doesn't just turn up and play tennis championships without trying to improve his game. Tiger Wood didn't become the best golfer in the world without time on the golf course. Footballers coming back from injury take a long time to get to previous heights. They all have had to practice and the desire to improve. KP doesn't seem to think of himself as having to work at his game and occasionally go back to basics.

    This is his last opportunity to show that he is a great cricketer, rather than a batsman who can deliver the occasional great innings.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm reckoning that four games will be just enough for the Surrey lads
    to decide that they don't want him in their dressing room...

  • Comment number 11.

    Sorry - but this seems simple. The man has walked out on his South African roots, Notts, Hants, an England coach.........surely they can't all be wrong and KP be right?
    I think he should be treated in a similar way to that which the Aussies dealt with Andrew Symonds (sp?)...."great talent mate - but if you can't be part of a team, then on your way!"
    Both England cricket and KP would be much better served by him spending a winter in the Caribbean topping up his tan, and the English middle order populated by people like Bopara.

  • Comment number 12.

    Whilst I agree with most of the rest of your fourth last paragraph, it seems more than a little harsh to be having a go at KP on the basis that "he averages less than 50 in Test cricket".
    There's only a handful of players ever that have averaged over 50 in a significant number of Tests, and have had the career-defining series you speak of.

  • Comment number 13.

    Five years ago KP was hungry and keen to prove himself as an international cricketer and he got his chance on the world stage at a very early stage of his professional career. He had technical flaws but these were covered-up by taking risks that other players would or could not take.

    Now he is expected to repeat those performances on a regular basis. Maintaining that superstar status and playing his natural game takes mental strength and professional application.

    KP has suffered a dip in both. His time in the county ranks was brief not sure if he will be happy there or if it will stir his professional hunger? Has KP lost the eye of the tiger for good....

    Cricket and life intertwinned yet again

  • Comment number 14.

    Hopefully this break from international cricket will do KP some good. Without the pressures of the highest level, he might be able to relax a bit, get a couple of scores together and once people start singing his praises again, his confidence will return.


    How ironic then that his performances in these 'no pressure' county games are going to be getting as much analysis and media coverage as the Pakistan ODIs (example: this very blog).

    Face it, KP is box office, and there would still be massive attention and press if he decided to turn out for his local village team.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well,a mixed bag of comments about KP. Its true no player has the right to a place in any team and that would also mean that the likes of Collingwood,Cook(despite his 100),Strauss and a few others should also be hived off to play knockabout with county players.Test cricket is not about who can play above their usual "ordinary" county level its more about mindset of the big occasion that lasts not just for an afternoon of pointless limited overs cricket but for 5 days non stop.The reason there are few test players in any country is that not many can cope with it,we have seen it the likes of Hick who was a great player but couldnt cope with the constant expectation and it got to him-in England we hate players who are just to dammed good they have to be destroyed for their own good,after all its good print isnt it?.KP "used" to be able to cope with it but he has let his outside interests rule his career which have been ceased upon by sleazy hacks. He may recover and I hope he does but no amount of criticism will help from washed up sports writers or odious selectors,he will have to do it himself or walk away. There are so many oportunities these days for talented people that he may just think its not worth it anymore after all can anyone trust test cricket these days when one scam after another is uncovered. KP is a family man,is not hard up and could play for a few weeks of the year and get paid a fortune until he is 36-37-who needs test cricket?

  • Comment number 16.

    International players in all three format are expected to be high performers professionals and box office. The intensity of this arena is shortening the average length of a modern cricketers career rapidly.

    IPL & T20 worldwide is now a way for players to ease their way towards retirement and for some, a move into the media while making serious money.

    There will always be career cricketers but other will burn brightly and then look to T20. This will depend upon profile, talent and fitness (for fast bowlers in particular).

    I for one would like to see KP around for another few Ashes series but if all does not go well the life of a professional T20 player beckons to him more than most.

  • Comment number 17.

    I heard KP is being groomed as an opening bat and a strike bowler for the forth coming test series down under ? Fancy Rory only letting him have one over ! lol

  • Comment number 18.

    I find it funny that your referring to this as a kick in the butt Tom, when its so obvious that he will still be on the plane come November.

    For it to be a real kick up the butt, the threat would have to be there that he wouldnt be taken. If that was the case you would get to see whether KP really has the mental acumen to be a professional cricketer and lift himself out of the doldrums and back to stardom or whether he sinks back into the mire.

    Anything other then that, will have zero benefit when it comes to the world stage. Its like sending a child to their room and letting them keep their Playstation in their. Its not going to affect their attitude one bit...

    I confidently predict that KP will arrive in Aus in November and play exactly as he has for England for the last 6 months. No improvement whatsoever...

  • Comment number 19.

    I think KP is a rare breed who does not need County Cricket to rediscover his lost form. If I were the selector, I would rather ask him to take a month-long vacation with his wife to his favorite destination - forget about Cricket for a while and enjoy himself. Asking him to play some county cricket is essentially futile as he WILL NOT enjoy his batting facing up to bowling attacks mostly considered second-class and not first-class. No matter how many thousands runs he scores at County level, I am sure, he will not enjoy it. However, it is highly unlikely he will score heavily as his heart is not really into it - you could tell it by looking at his body language while at the crease the other day against Glocs.

  • Comment number 20.

    Interesting point jolomo. Matt-h88 - I like the distinction.

    L A Odicean - I think that's the Analogy of the Month award secured for you.

    davidsccc - the reaction was good, wasn't it?

    Boilerbill - from all reports KP does work very hard at his game, but I think you've summed it up nicely in your final par.

  • Comment number 21.

    11. At 09:19am on 02 Sep 2010, swaqik wrote:
    Sorry - but this seems simple. The man has walked out on his South African roots, Notts, Hants, an England coach.........surely they can't all be wrong and KP be right?
    I think he should be treated in a similar way to that which the Aussies dealt with Andrew Symonds (sp?)...."great talent mate - but if you can't be part of a team, then on your way!"
    Both England cricket and KP would be much better served by him spending a winter in the Caribbean topping up his tan, and the English middle order populated by people like Bopara.

    I can't help but fear a backlash from other posters here. Well thought out, sensible comment doesn't go down well on these forums

  • Comment number 22.

    As a club cricket player (batsman, top score 130 NO this year) I agree to some degree that class in permanent, form temporary. Batting can be the most frustrating thing ever - you go for weeks, months, years even without a decent score and wonder if you ever knew which end of the bat to hold. Then suddenly it all comes right, and then you can do no wrong. The one thing you have to have to get from bad form to good form is the right mental approach - it's as much about that as technique and on this front KP seems shot to pieces. I think he needs to stay away from the spotlight for a change, think seriously about what he wants from his life and cricket and if he wants further success he needs to shut his mouth and let his bat do the talking. I hope he does rediscover his form as on form he can win games, right now he is useless to England.

  • Comment number 23.

    KP was free spirited, open and bright.
    Spoke his mind and fought for what he believed in.
    South African born and a real talent, maybe genius.
    And the English establishment hated him for it.

    Look at the current campaign against Strauss. Recently reported "Strauss fails again" when he scored 19, but Collingwood score a duck and nothing is said .......
    How long do you think these guys can survive English zenophobia without reacting ?

  • Comment number 24.

    Personally I've always said if KP is dropped so must many others. There are many in as bad if not worse form. And only Trott is of any sort of form you'd wan't going to face the Aus! Those who should be playing some 4 day matches include Struass, Cook, Collingwood and Morgan. Yup our "glorious" leader needs some form too.

    This looks to me more like the ECB taking it's moment to put KP in his place, to remind him who's boss.

    I think all the players, including KP should be treated the same. That they are (yet again) obviously not being shows the problems with the ECB, they always have their favourites, and the fact that KP is a hard man to be friends with seems to be the only reason he's been dropped.

    There are a decent amount of warm up games in Auz this time, and it'll be then that decisions on the final batting line up will be made, not now.

  • Comment number 25.

    laughing devil - the difference is that the players you listed aren't struggling mentally like KP is. He said himself that his confidence has been blown to bits. It's not just an issue of form.

  • Comment number 26.

    Sorry but saying he needs love and attention is just pure lazy journalism. Pietersen is not and never has been a child who needs to be molly-coddled or made to feel important in order to perform.

    What he needs is time away from all that to work on his timing and technique which has fallen away badly with his confidence over the last two years. That is why he is at Surrey right now as much for the break and net-time he will get as anything else. To be honest it's likely not long enough a period to make a huge amount of difference but it is still the right call.

  • Comment number 27.

    I’m not at all convinced that a T-20 gold mine awaits Peitersen if he falls foul of, or turns his back on, the England set-up. He struggled to get in to the Challengers’ team at the last IPL even with his England credentials largely intact. The IPL is a circus that depends on celebrity to pull in the crowds and the sponsors, and Peitersen’s celebrity depends on him being “England’s best player”. To survive and make a living as a freelance he’s have to be a brilliant T-20 player, and he isn’t, actually. He had a fairly good world cup, but was no dead cert for man of the series, and his overall record isn’t great. Without his place in the England team he’d be a nobody.

    His problem does seem to be a mental one, as others here have suggested. He’s lost confidence and form since his injury and the captaincy row, and stopped playing with the intuitive flair and brilliant timing that he’s capable of. I get so tired of people bleating about his arrogance, or selfishness, or birthplace, or haircut, or whatever. He’s known for how hard he practises, and his generosity in helping and advising others in his own team and beyond it. But the fact is, he’s lost his mojo, and he needs to locate it or step aside. Not one of the best 5 batsmen in the last 5 years? Oh come on – he wouldn’t make it into a world third eleven right now, when there are players like Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Chanderpaul, Smith, Ponting, Hussey, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers and Clarke all much more consistent and prolific than him. The only chance of him standing in that sort of company – let alone the company of the greats of history – is for him to understand that his place in the team has to be earned, as Strauss did. For him to go away and work at his game, not just for Surrey but for any first class teams in Australia, New Zealand and so on that will take him on - and rediscover the thing that used to matter most to him, which was being one of the greatest players of all time. I’m not sure he will – but everything, for him, depends on him doing so, because without it he has feet of clay and all the superstardom will fall down around him.

  • Comment number 28.

    Maybe he'll learn that it's a team game; that being there at the end of the day is a better position than being out third ball for 12, or a cameo 50 off 30 balls or whatever. Does he have the mental capacity, and the patience, to play the long game? If not then give his place to an Englishman who can, one that is there by right rather than by virtue of not having played for anyone else and then stayed on these shores for the requisite period.

  • Comment number 29.

    I will say this first and get it out of the way ... I love KP the quality international batsman and he would be first name on my team sheet if I was picking (which fortunately for the rest of the English cricket loving world I am not).

    However, there are two aspects of his approach to the game that worry me.

    First, as evidenced by his reaction on Twitter, he comes across as unprofessional - exactly why I was worried when he was appointed England captain and not surprised when things went pear-shaped. At his age, and at this stage of his career, I doubt that is going to change.

    Second, of course he needs supreme self-belief to play the game the way he does, but it too often veers over he line and into arrogance. His announcement that he will not play county cricket and play only for England betrays an expectation on his part that he is undroppable, and no player should ever feel that they are in that position. Not least because if it doesn't have to be earned why would you work hard for it?

    Both of those things can be overcome, and accepted by the rest of the team, the press and the fans, if he is out there getting the runs and leading from the front game after game. But he isn't ... he hasn't made one truly telling contribution for England in this entire test series.

    Even during his one decent innings he looked completely and utterly lost ... as if he has forgotten how to play the game at this level. He is more than just out of form, mentally he is nowhere at the moment, and for the first time since he bust onto the scene there is no sense when watching him play that at any moment he could bust the shackles and cut loose with a big score.

    The great batsman have an inate ability to build an innings and make a score when they are out of form. KP does not - certainly at the moment.

    Bashing around a second string Pakistan attack in T20 and ODIs is not going to help. And I am not sure bashing around county attacks is going to either. Maybe what he really needs is a holiday.

  • Comment number 30.

    Sending Kevin Pietersen to Surrey is a bit like sending the naughty but misunderstood boy at school down to the remedial class:

  • Comment number 31.

    Armchairhantsfan - lovely well-argued post.

    dcacooper - nice chat. Given the Surrey experiment, how do you think he'll get on in Aus this winter?

    Hackerjack, you feisty old poster - not too lazy to post this quote from Michael Vaughan: "KP is not a confident person. He obviously has great belief in his ability but that's not quite the same thing... And I know KP wants to be loved. I try to text him and talk to him as often as I can because I know he is insecure."

  • Comment number 32.

    The very situation surrounding KP's fall from grace is it's cause. Whereas professional cricketers used to vie for their places in the England team by their County performances (position in the batting and bowling averages for example) now they are not even allowed to play any such games. How would footballers keep 'match fit' if, under their terms of being sleected for England, they were only allowed to train and play internationals? The mental and physical condition needed to be at your best is honed by regular competition, not by being cacooned in inactivity. Yes, you can play too much, but please, lets have some chance for the top players to strut their stuff and show how good they are at County level. This would also, perhaps, have an effect on the diabolically low turnouts that County cricket currently atracts. I used to queue to see Ted Dexter and Jim Parks play for Sussex when both were top 'England Stars'. Just as batsmen need time on the square, so do bowlers need overs, and lots of them. Where else can they practise variations and experiment, definately not in a test match! Please can we see England players go back to being County players and be proud of it, then they will also become better England cricketers and the game as a whole will benefit.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ Traditionalist

    Your comparisons aren't great.

    There is a lot more international cricket being played compared to a few decades back, and in 3 formats. It's all very well saying "Ted Dexter this" and "Ted Dexter that", but he played in the 1960s with no T20, no ODIs and List A cricket was only introduced late in his career. Dexter amassed 62 Test caps in 10 years - it takes around 5 years now to do the same.

    And comparing international cricket to football is just silly. Being an England cricketer is a job pretty much, hence the central contracts, as it takes up so much of the year. Footballers played for England around once every 6 weeks to 2 months, and will only play 1 or 2 matches when they do meet up.

    England cricketers are not "cacooned in inactivity", they play a lot of cricket, and nearly all of it is played at the highest level which is more demanding than county cricket - in terms of ability as well as physically, mentally and emotionally.

  • Comment number 34.

    Years ago there was a distinct division between the professional cricketer and the gifted part time player who could fund his own season.Life was simple and the press didnt bother cricketers much,after all it was just a couple of months a year whilst footballers had a rest. In 2010 contracted players have every possible revenue earning angle which obviously affects the cricketers whether they like it or not.Yes,they get more money and good luck to them but they also have to cope with outside pressure from the press and promotional material.The more famous you are the worse it becomes.There is no rest between series and time being money ensures the top players play little outside the test/one day calender year in year out.KP has now the look of a burnt out cricketer.He is now just playing on instinct and clearly needs help. So why wasnt it spotted before by the army of advisors in the England camp?Why werent the batting advisors helping him or saying- KP needs to just take a step back and get his head together before?Its taken all this time until its possibly too late.So was this a mistake or by design?After all KP is a bit of a handful and a loose cannon,the selectors dont like him-never have,after all he was Fletchers boy.I like KP the way he is but would love him to regain his masterly touch. I fear this will not happen and he will be walking away within a few months,lured away by the IPL and big paydays.


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