Tuesday, July 14, 2009

England's big gun needs to fire

Just watching the video of Botham's classic 149* at Headingley 1981 and can't help but feel that England will need someone to go out and bat in a similar manner. And the player best placed to be able to deliver this would of course be Pietersen. He is the one with the ability, power, and confidence to really go for it.

There was a misconception at Cardiff that his mistake was to play too many strokes, when actually the problem was he was just trying to be too dinky and fancy. Like a man caught in two minds, he wanted to play strokes but felt weighed down by the responsibility on him and felt too inhibited to swing freely from the hip. He should just play uncomplicated natural attacking strokes, as Botham clearly did in that video. Against a novice Australian attack on flat wickets the percentages are very much in his favour, and an attacking century could both take a game away from Australia and demoralize them.

We must not criticise Pietersen for being attacking and playing strokes, but for NOT playing proper attacking strokes. Let's hope he goes back to his basics and delivers the right stuff, playing positive attacking cricket, and that the other England batsmen take a leaf out of his book just as they did in the 2nd Test at Edgbaston in 2005, when their approach on the first day changed everything. We will then have a very entertaining series indeed...

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