Friday, 24 July 2009

The Ashes and Kevin Pietersen

The Ashes is ticking along nicely (England 1, Australia 0), but we received the unfortunate news yesterday that Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the remainder of the series through injury. His loss cannot be underplayed. Yes, he was struggling for form, but a more natural, instinctive talent you won’t find. And even though he was finding it tough, he top-scored in England’s first innings in Cardiff and got 32 and then 44 at Lord’s. Lesser batsmen would have struggled to get anywhere near these totals in a similar funk.

I’m a fan of Bell – but he’s the polar opposite of KP. Bell’s technique could have been lifted straight from the batting textbook, whereas KP’s all invention. But this is no bad thing. Bell’s cover drive is a thing of beauty, and if he finds his feet against this second-rate Aussie attack, then we could finally see him come of age on the international stage. But if he fails, once again, to make an impression, surely his England career is over.

If it is Bell to replace KP, which seems likely, I wonder if they’ll move the struggling Bopara back to 4? I think he’d find it easier there.

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