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Old 7th January 2009, 21:07   #1
ChivaIsDead
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What of Kevin Pietersen?

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Kevin Pietersen is a genius. Without thought for the consequences of saying just such a thing, I think he embodies all of the qualities in batsmanship that can reasonably be described as genius; unorthodoxy, creativity, brutality, freakishness, and any other quality you might pursue. But like all geniuses Pietersen carries baggage by his very nature, in fact he is the baggage in and of itself, in that everywhere he goes he is capable of uniting by his brilliance or destroying by his presence, for his ability breeds envy and his ego breeds contempt. A genius is rarely understood, for few among us can appreciate what it is to have such talent. Part of Pietersen's talent, his genius, is his very belief, his belief in his own greatness. It took him from being an ordinary off-spinner to being a great batsman, it took him from nothing to everything in just a few short years.

Latterly, his belief has been destroyed. He believed he could take on the ECB and win, yet he couldn't. His own determination has broken apart that which he built up with pain-staking deliberation, and in the eyes of some, tainted him irreversibly. Now that Pietersen is not 'Kevin the Captain' nor 'Kevin the God' as he might at times have liked us to believe, he is Pietersen the batsman again, the mortal man and not the untouchable, yet still the man above all others who the opposition strive to remove. After crossing so many boundaries and dismantling the best of the best, Pietersen almost finds himself back in the realms of the rookie again, where he shall have to prove his worth all over again, just to show the world that he is not only a great batsman but also a batsman who overcomes his own adversities, who laughs off the inner strife and lauds his genius wherever he goes.

This February, Pietersen shall find himself in the West Indies, and he shall probably find himself quite a lonely and tormented man. Undoubtedly this will prey on his ego, and lesser men could very well see their performances dip. What can Kevin Pietersen do in response to this? Will it prove that the greatest trial, the trial that breaks Pietersen, shall not be that which he encountered on the pitch, but that which he encountered off it? Is there a possibility now that the dominant Pietersen, the 'century every three matches' Pietersen, could be banished to become a less-than-great batsman, the batsman who many have long-expected to see Pietersen become? Amidst all the carnage of today, I find it surprising that no-one has considered the implications for Pietersen the cricketer rather than the captain, for this is just the sort of thing that can change players, can make them play with a selfishness or a stupidity where before there was method and certainty.

For all of Pietersen's ability he is human, and whether out of spite, lack of focus, or simply because he is pining, there's no guarantee that the batsman who scored a ton at Mohali shall turn up again for England in the future.
Do you see this 'affair' adversely affecting KP's game? Are you worried, would you miss him? Is Pietersen irreplaceable?

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Old 7th January 2009, 21:11   #2
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He is not irreplaceable as we can replace him. Pedantry aside who knows whether it will affect his game? One thing you can say about KP (and many have this week) is that he is very single-minded in wanting to become the best batsmen in the world. I'm hoping that single-mindedness will stand him in good stead and means that he continues to be our best player.

The other question is what price his batting over his influence. At what point if he became a malignant force in the dressing room would you ditch him completely even if he was playing well?
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Old 7th January 2009, 21:26   #3
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It will certainly be interesting to see how he manages his return to the ranks; my suspicion is that he will get over it, and that the challenge of proving himself the best batsman in the world will keep him going.

Individually he is irreplaceable, although I would be interested to see an English batting unit without him (as I don't think we have since 2005 in Tests), and wonder if it might not do better, or at least make up his shortfall as a collective. That is not to say we would be better off without him, but one of the things I liked about the successful team of 04-5 is that there was no obvious stand-out batsman providing a totem for the opposition. In a way I think England have suffered in having such an obviously outstanding batsman: both in terms of the almost subliminal dependency culture it engenders in the rest of the team and in providing extra impetus for the opposition when he is at the crease.
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Old 7th January 2009, 21:29   #4
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Individually he is irreplaceable, although I would be interested to see an English batting unit without him (as I don't think we have since 2005 in Tests), and wonder if it might not do better, or at least make up his shortfall as a collective. That is not to say we would be better off without him, but one of the things I liked about the successful team of 04-5 is that there was no obvious stand-out batsman providing a totem for the opposition. In a way I think England have suffered in having such an obviously outstanding batsman: both in terms of the almost subliminal dependency culture it engenders in the rest of the team and in providing extra impetus for the opposition when he is at the crease.
It was an argument levelled at the Windies during the Lara years, but all that has happened is that now Chaderpaul carries them.

He is the best batsman we have, I have no doubts about that; however sometimes a team is more than the sum of its parts and who knows it might function better without him. I think we just wait to see how he reacts under Strauss and the new coaches whoever they may be.
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Old 7th January 2009, 21:38   #5
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I wouldn't be surprised if Pietersen struggled a bit with the bat in the Carribean. However, even without much of a contribution from him England should have enough to beat the Windies. He will however need to be back to his best if they are to stand any chance in the Ashes.
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Old 7th January 2009, 21:47   #6
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I think Pietersen will go ballistic against the Windies, i can see him scoring a few centuries. He will be annoyed, angry, and i think he will channel this and then show England can't do without him in his batting performances.
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Old 7th January 2009, 22:17   #7
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I know Kev will forget the way he has been treated and continue giving his all for the sake of his mother country .

Come On Kev we need you
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Old 7th January 2009, 22:22   #8
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KP loves adversity. if he goes, he'll play well.
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Old 8th January 2009, 01:15   #9
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It was an argument levelled at the Windies during the Lara years, but all that has happened is that now Chaderpaul carries them.

He is the best batsman we have, I have no doubts about that; however sometimes a team is more than the sum of its parts and who knows it might function better without him. I think we just wait to see how he reacts under Strauss and the new coaches whoever they may be.
Are you suggesting we can look forward to being as good as the WIndies have been for the last handful of years?

Yippee.
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Old 8th January 2009, 01:31   #10
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It was an argument levelled at the Windies during the Lara years, but all that has happened is that now Chaderpaul carries them.
That's as maybe, but are the West Indies still worse without Lara even if Chand has stepped up to the mark? I'd say yes.

As for KP, I think beating up a few inaccurate West Indian pacemen will do him the world of good. As his recent 144 demonstrates, he's still a disturbingly good batsman and England would be all the poorer without him.
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Old 8th January 2009, 08:00   #11
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I hope he will respond by batting like he never has before. Sure, I expect him to maybe sulk for a while, but if he works off his frustration in the nets then that will be all to the good.

Put it this way, I don't expect to see him playing out the season with Hampshire!
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Old 8th January 2009, 08:20   #12
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He is irreplaceable. He flirted with danger by being a genius in a land where this sort of thing is frowned upon.
For me the ''other dressing room characters'' who ''weren't with him'' are the ones who should look inside themselves.
Strauss - nice educated bloke who you can just see [if he lasts that long] being the victim of the press leaders recycled from Gower through to Vaughan - ''the captaincy is affecting his batting'' except in this case it'll be no surprise because his batting were never that special from day one. [of his captaincy] He is a walking wicket thinks the Aussies therefore they will give him target treatment. The rest will follow.
So yeah, rest of dressing room equals ''former test players'' if I was in charge, 'cos ain't any of them in Kevin's league. The daftest thing I've read is that Strauss being made captain is fair because he had a rough deal under Fletcher - fair? FAIR? when the frig did fair have a say in winning? If fair had a role to play in test cricket Boycott should have captained England 50 times and Alan Border/ Mark Taylor/ Steve Waugh would have been allowed by the ACB to go on their own terms following their years of devoted service. Fair my arse.

If we sit down and think about this as an ''critical incident analysis'' then the whole thing gets worse in terms of managerial culpability. If this [EWCB]were a publicly quoted company then the shareholders would ask for resignations and no one would bat an eye. This is staggeringly poor on any and every level. The management have evidenced a total lack of application of any forward thinking. They are bumbling buffoons, lurching between crisis they have seen to it that we are seen as new union jack coloured oxo cube - known as the laughing stock. I think we should all ditch our SKY subscriptions - that would bring them home.
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Old 8th January 2009, 10:11   #13
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The irony is he's just managed to get his Test average above 50 again.
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Old 8th January 2009, 12:34   #14
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He is irreplaceable. He flirted with danger by being a genius in a land where this sort of thing is frowned upon.
For me the ''other dressing room characters'' who ''weren't with him'' are the ones who should look inside themselves.
Strauss - nice educated bloke who you can just see [if he lasts that long] being the victim of the press leaders recycled from Gower through to Vaughan - ''the captaincy is affecting his batting'' except in this case it'll be no surprise because his batting were never that special from day one. [of his captaincy] He is a walking wicket thinks the Aussies therefore they will give him target treatment. The rest will follow.
So yeah, rest of dressing room equals ''former test players'' if I was in charge, 'cos ain't any of them in Kevin's league. The daftest thing I've read is that Strauss being made captain is fair because he had a rough deal under Fletcher - fair? FAIR? when the frig did fair have a say in winning? If fair had a role to play in test cricket Boycott should have captained England 50 times and Alan Border/ Mark Taylor/ Steve Waugh would have been allowed by the ACB to go on their own terms following their years of devoted service. Fair my arse.

If we sit down and think about this as an ''critical incident analysis'' then the whole thing gets worse in terms of managerial culpability. If this [EWCB]were a publicly quoted company then the shareholders would ask for resignations and no one would bat an eye. This is staggeringly poor on any and every level. The management have evidenced a total lack of application of any forward thinking. They are bumbling buffoons, lurching between crisis they have seen to it that we are seen as new union jack coloured oxo cube - known as the laughing stock. I think we should all ditch our SKY subscriptions - that would bring them home.
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Old 8th January 2009, 12:47   #15
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He is irreplaceable. He flirted with danger by being a genius in a land where this sort of thing is frowned upon.
For me the ''other dressing room characters'' who ''weren't with him'' are the ones who should look inside themselves.
Strauss - nice educated bloke who you can just see [if he lasts that long] being the victim of the press leaders recycled from Gower through to Vaughan - ''the captaincy is affecting his batting'' except in this case it'll be no surprise because his batting were never that special from day one. [of his captaincy] He is a walking wicket thinks the Aussies therefore they will give him target treatment. The rest will follow.
So yeah, rest of dressing room equals ''former test players'' if I was in charge, 'cos ain't any of them in Kevin's league. The daftest thing I've read is that Strauss being made captain is fair because he had a rough deal under Fletcher - fair? FAIR? when the frig did fair have a say in winning? If fair had a role to play in test cricket Boycott should have captained England 50 times and Alan Border/ Mark Taylor/ Steve Waugh would have been allowed by the ACB to go on their own terms following their years of devoted service. Fair my arse.

If we sit down and think about this as an ''critical incident analysis'' then the whole thing gets worse in terms of managerial culpability. If this [EWCB]were a publicly quoted company then the shareholders would ask for resignations and no one would bat an eye. This is staggeringly poor on any and every level. The management have evidenced a total lack of application of any forward thinking. They are bumbling buffoons, lurching between crisis they have seen to it that we are seen as new union jack coloured oxo cube - known as the laughing stock. I think we should all ditch our SKY subscriptions - that would bring them home.
We have managed to replace all those irreplaceable players of the past and if we had to live without KP then we would. The 'dressing room' has no reason to reproach itself , they didn't like his manoevrings, weren't impressed with his captaincy either, and said so. That's honesty. Meantime, KP is on safari in SA issuing him or me ultimatums to his employers and being surprised when his bluff was called! That is not the stuff that good captains and good team players are made of.
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Old 8th January 2009, 13:04   #16
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But Cesar the thread title is What of Kevin Pietersen - the Batsman? - not what of Pietersen the captain or team player.
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Old 8th January 2009, 13:21   #17
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But Cesar the thread title is What of Kevin Pietersen - the Batsman? - not what of Pietersen the captain or team player.
You're right.

Pietersen the batsman could be good for us if he can be marginalised in the dressing room the way Boycott was. As long as he has no influence and can concentrate on run scoring then the team may benefit.

I still think it is a mistake for him to go to the Windies though - everything is too raw on all sides. I would bring him back in the summer.
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Old 8th January 2009, 13:38   #18
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You're right.

Pietersen the batsman could be good for us if he can be marginalised in the dressing room the way Boycott was. As long as he has no influence and can concentrate on run scoring then the team may benefit.

I still think it is a mistake for him to go to the Windies though - everything is too raw on all sides. I would bring him back in the summer.
Whilst I know you are keen for England to be given the chance to succeed without him so you can point and say we don't need him, do you not think that there could be some merit in allowing him to get straight back on the bike?

The closest precedent I can think of would be Botham in '81. He was sacked, but I can't remember how the rest of the series went under a Middlesex captain.
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Old 8th January 2009, 13:48   #19
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Whilst I know you are keen for England to be given the chance to succeed without him so you can point and say we don't need him, do you not think that there could be some merit in allowing him to get straight back on the bike?

The closest precedent I can think of would be Botham in '81. He was sacked, but I can't remember how the rest of the series went under a Middlesex captain.
There are sound arguments on both sides gbg. I think a little breathing space for everyone would be good whilst we go and play one of the weaker international sides.

The Botham situation was a little different because the sack came as a massive relief to him and he was replaced by a man who was previously his captain and someone whom he held in very high esteem. I don't think Botham had p****d off most of his team mates either and was able to walk back into the dressing room knowing that he had their sympathy and support.
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Old 8th January 2009, 14:09   #20
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There are sound arguments on both sides gbg. I think a little breathing space for everyone would be good whilst we go and play one of the weaker international sides.

The Botham situation was a little different because the sack came as a massive relief to him and he was replaced by a man who was previously his captain and someone whom he held in very high esteem. I don't think Botham had p****d off most of his team mates either and was able to walk back into the dressing room knowing that he had their sympathy and support.
I don't see the advantage in delay. It's like the Moores issue, confront the problems don't just bury your head in the sand and hope they go away, because when it matters that is when they'll crop up again.
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