Sunday, 30 November 2008

Player Profile: Kevin Pietersen

The Ashes 2009

Player Profiles and Predictions

by Chris Smith

England Captain

Kevin Pietersen

Still an unproven captain but quite possibly England’s finest and most talented batsman of the modern era. He backs up his talent with an amazing work ethic off the field. His planning and preparation for every match are of the highest order. He devises plans against teams and indeed against individual bowlers, the fact that he can carry out what he intends to do shows his talent, the fact that he makes such good and sometimes audacious plans is the measure of the man’s confidence and cricketing brain. This summer’s series against South Africa showed mostly the best but also the worst of his game. His plan against Makhaya Ntini almost rendered the bowler useless against him, using the angle of the bowler against him and playing beautifully through the leg side. In fact throughout the series he had many of the bowlers scratching their heads. Just when you thought he was invincible though, Pietersen showed his fallible side. With such a desire to dominate and a huge ego to boost, he finds it very difficult to hold back when the situation demands it. Pietersen needs to play in a flamboyant and sometimes risky way, this is the character of the man, he cannot graft his way through difficult situations he has to apply his game to the situation. The problem Pietersen has, is knowing that when he is on top and in top gear, to not search for a higher gear still and give his wicket away when games are for the taking. This was never clearer illustrated than in the third test against South Africa when he gave his wicket cheaply to Paul Harris at a crucial time when South Africa were looking ragged. In that moment the game and the series were lost. There probably wouldn’t have been a chance without Pietersen but his greatness rests on winning games for England and he could have won that game for England, South Africa were all out of ideas.

Ashes prediction

Pietersen loves the big games and always raises his game for Australia. This series will be no different, I expect plenty of runs from England’s captain in a very attacking style. His plan will be to not let Australia’s bowlers bowl at him and expect some innovative and exciting batting. England’s player of the series.

Pietersen’s test record (as of 24/11/08)


Matches: 43
Runs: 3890
Bat Ave: 50.51

Vs Australia:

Matches: 10
Runs: 963
Bat Ave: 53.50