There would have been huge worries and concerns from England fans that when Kevin Pietersen was dropped before the Test against South Africa at Lords, that may have been the end of his international career. It was never going to be a fast process to get him back in an England shirt after what went on but England now have one of their best players ready to take on India in their own back yard.
This news is initially important considering the current situation of Ian Bell. Bell’s wife is pregnant and due to give birth after the first Test which means Bell will be flying back to England after the tour has started. England can now name Pietersen in their side as a ready made replacement to hold together the middle order. Had Pietersen not been in the side then it would have left a very inexperienced middle order for the second of the four Test matches.
All you have to do is look at Pietersen’s experience as a Test match batsman. He has an average of just under 50 and is one of England’s highest century makers of all time with 21 international hundreds. He can be used to protect the likes of Johnny Bairstow and James Taylor who have only just started their international careers with England. There is no doubt the experience which KP has is beneficial for the team.
“The meetings were constructive and cordial and all outstanding issues have been resolved. All the England players and management are now keen to draw a line under this matter and fully focus on the cricketing challenge that lies ahead in India,” said England Team Managing Director Hugh Morris on the BBC Sport website.
Add to his Test match stats the fact that Pietersen regularly plays Twenty20 cricket in India and you have a player ready made to battle conditions in India. Ironically, it was Pietersen’s willingness to play IPL cricket which was one of the dividing factors between himself and the England management. One of the reported stipulations of him coming back into the England side is that he makes himself available for England in all forms of the game before any other commitments.
Another major reason that this is big news is because this is the first Test match series where Alastair Cook will be England captain. Cook’s only experience in India as captain ended with him and England on the end of a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Indian One Day International team. Bear in mind that Pietersen has previously been captain of England and along with the likes of Bell, Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann and Matt Prior, he will be able to offer Cook valuable assistance and a valuable opinions on many different match situations.
Pietersen will join up with England after his Champions League commitments with the Delhi Daredevils have finished. It is great to have him back and now the pressure is handed to him as England look to him to make mega scores against the Indians.
image: © chrisjrn