Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can KP comeback to form?

I see that England's selectors have dropped KP from both T/20 and the one-day side, though him venting his frustration on twitter became more of a front page news. Oh! don't these social networking sites bring the worst out of people? Anyway, let us comeback to the topic on hand and that is, whether it was right to drop KP and can he comeback to form?

 I don't think there is any doubt about KP not being in good form in the last 18-20 months. His form in one-day cricket has been rather poor as he hasn't even got a fifty in his last 17 matches and his test form  hasn't been bad but he has rarely looked at his best. Yes, his T/20  form has been good as he won the player of the series award in the world cup, but won't it be better to play county matches than to play hit and giggle cricket?

So, a question would also arise about how could a player who was on the top of his game suddenly lose his form? I just don't think  KP hasn't yet recovered from whatever happened between him and Moores in 08/09. I think he stands vindicated about Moores not being a good coach as England are doing better after he left the scene and even Lancashire aren't doing any better under Moores, but it has surely hurt his ego as ever since that fiasco, he hasn't looked at his best  and his game has gone to pieces. KP'S achilles injury didn't help him either as that was a very bad injury and it clearly affected him on the tour of South Africa. I still wonder whether England's management rushed him back too quickly to play international cricket as he clearly looked short of match fitness in South Africa.

Another point to note is, nowadays KP doesn't look to play his natural instinctive game. He is at his best when he comes out with a positive attitude and looks to play his shots. The Moores episode didn't help him, nor does the fact that many so called experts want him to play a different game. For instance, if Sehwag tries to hit a six in Srilanka and gets out when he is on 99 everyone says that it is his natural game, but if KP tries to smash Benn when he is on 98 and gets out, the reaction can be a little bit different lol!  KP is a guy who always seems to attract attention and him being a Saffer never helps.

Now, the next question is, can KP comeback to form? Having seen KP's batting for a longtime,  I still maintain that I don't see much wrong with his technique, but what he needs is to spend some time in the middle before he starts playing his natural game. Yes, some are saying that he has been worked out, but the fact is, as he is England's most talented batsman, opposition teams tried very hard to get his wicket and when a batsman is out of form, he  would look out of sorts and short of technique.  For instance, at Lord's he tried to drive a wide delivery with his front-foot struck in the crease and got out, but the same KP was creaming the world's best bowler Steyn to the boundary by playing cover-drives couple of years ago. It just shows that he needs to spend some time in the middle, which would help his confidence and his footwork.

If KP can get some runs for Surrey and if he again starts loving the game, he can comeback to form. His technique is still good enough, he likes to play on the rise which should help him in Australia and moreover, he scored about 500 runs against a much better attack on England's last trip to Australia. England's management too would surely like KP to fire again as he is still key to England's chances in the Ashes. He is one batsman in the line-up, who can take the attack to the Aussies. He is a crucial player for the WC too as in India, scores of around 300 is a par score and England at present have a batting line-up made up of Bopara, Trott, Strauss and company, who all have strike-rates in low and mid 70's. Finally, I just hope that KP gets his form back as when in form, he is a treat to watch.


Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that a couple of meaningless division Two matches are really going to make that much difference.

Can he come back? Of course, but many batsman often need to tighten their technique after hitting 30. Reflex and eyes diminish and he'd be wise to work on this side of his game between now and the 'Gabba in Novemeber.

greyblazer said...


Welcome to the blog. Yes he is going to play in division two but the Gloucs attack of Franklin, Lewis and Hussain isn't bad especially when you think that otherwise he would be playing this week t/20 matches. I don't see much purpose in a player who is out of form playing t/20 cricket.

It is usually around 34-35 when batsmen look to tighten their technique as their reflexes and eyes diminish. I think at the age of 30 he just needs to play his natural game though he needs to spend some valuable time in the middle.

Craig Bannister said...

Good analysis of Pietersen's technique, Greyblazer! I think the people who dismiss this sabbatical for KP as a step back are being a touch short sighted. I think the point is that he just needs some time out of the intense international scene to get his confidence back. The guy looks all over the place mentally.

I think he'll be better playing in some 4 day games for Surrey out of the limelight (as much as possible) and he'll come back with a point to prove.

Good move selectors, I say. No man is too big to be dropped.

greyblazer said...

Craig Bannister,

Welcome to the blog! KP at present seems to be a guy who has lost the love for the game. The injury last year and him being removed from the captaincy hasn't helped. Yeah a few weeks away from the limelight perhaps is good for him though he doesn't seem to be a guy who wants to stay away from the limelight lol.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I've got a slightly different view on this.

I can see some logic in taking Pietersen out of the firing line and giving him easy runs in county cricket, and I also am pleased to see the selectors have got the balls to make big calls, as Craig said, no man is too big to be dropped, and I agree in principle.

But, I'm not convinced this is the best way to handle KP.

He clearly hasn't got over the way he was treated with the Peter Moores episode yet, (although he should have by now), and in doing this the selectors could be giving Pietersen the impression that people have got it in for him again.

He is already in a fragile state, and his confidence could take a further knock with this. Look at Cook and Collingwood (KP actually got more runs than Colly in Pakistan series), the selectors have stuck by them through thick and thin, at times it has looked like they are immune from getting dropped.

So KP may well be thinking 'Why Me Again?'

He could be stewing away at Surrey with it eating away at his mind that he has been dropped while there are players with worse recent records than him, and persistent technical faults, still in the side.

I couldn't see Australia or India treating their best batsman (or player) in this manner.

It is a risky stratergy this close to the Ashes. I think England need him on song if we are to have a chance, I just hope the selectors have made the right call. Only time will tell if they have.

greyblazer said...

I think the main point was they used the word KP has been DROPPED. If they had said to him that we want you to spend some time in the middle, so at present you can look at playing for Surrey, it would have been better.

At present, it isn't about him facing lower level bowlers like Shantry, or Chaudhary in the second division, but he needs to spend some time in the middle to get a feel of batting, though they needn't have used the word dropped which would hurt any top player's ego. India have treated Dravid rather shabbily, but I do agree that Aus haven't done that unless the player is over 35 and past his best like the Waughs. Even if they aren't going to pick a top player they would never say he has been dropped.

Colly was dropped in 08 against SA, though he was immediately picked back in the side and leaving the last series against Pak and against Aus in 09, his form has been good even in one-day cricket but Cook? in the past Vaughan and the god Flintoff?

All those frictions with the board over IPL and other tournaments haven't helped either. So, in the end didn't Colly and co. too play in the IPL, but the management seemed to be going after KP. He also seems to be a bit wary about playing his attacking game. His footwork looks so much better when he comes with a positive mindset and plays a few shots. Anyone remembers him pulling a 90mph short delivery from Steyn in 08 for four at Lord's? It was the second delivery he had faced in that match and was in a bit of bad form at that time. When S'wag tried to play a defensive game that Greg Chappell seemed to have instructed him to play in SA in 06/07, he looked all at sea as his game is built on all out attack.

Boycott and co. seem to have succeeded in their agenda of making him play a different to which he isn't used to.

Anonymous said...

They need to stop playing Mind games and leave the players alone. They are misunderstanding KP and egos are getting into way. I bet management must have been thinking that because he is doing well in T20, he will be attracted to play that more and will not work hard on Test. But I think they are wrong in this, I am not sure but he is the fastest man to reach 5000 runs, now thats not a fluke. Anyways, I personally want him to get success, but not more runs against India though hehehe They must give freedom to players. Especially for batsman Mind does affect the batting since sometimes they take decisions of shots in Split Seconds. ECB needs to be careful.

Anonymous said...

Nahh never mind He tied fastest to score 1000 ODI runs with Viv. Richards and 2nd most top scorer in his first 25 Test matches after D. Bradman.

greyblazer said...

I think ECB looks at him as a rebel though when you think about IPL even Colly and co. played in it.

More than anything else KP needs to spend some valuable time in the middle and maybe the strategy of leaving him to play second division attacks can help.

He is a class player and he is England's best batsman. For England to have any chance in the Ashes he has to fire as KP is one player who can counter the bounce on Aussie tracks.