Pietersen Frustrates and Careful of Khawaja

4 01 2011

Well that was a proper test match days cricket with the game swinging first one way then the other before finally ending up more or less as it started with England just ahead. From this position England should be looking to push on and score in excess of 350 and would like something more in the region of 450 ideally. If they can achieve this latter figure then the series, the Ashes and the Sydney test should all be theirs. As at Perth however, Australia’s score of 280 is not looking too bad and with Johnson and Hilfenhaus showing signs that their finest form might not be too far away, anything could still happen.

Next in to bat is Paul Collingwood and, with Anderson in as nightwatchman and liable to be dismissed at any time, England would dearly love one of the Durham mans career saving innings tomorrow. Cook, as he has done all series batted without flamboyance to score a valuable 61 not out. If he can go on tomorrow to score what would be his third century of the series then England should be secure. His partner in prolific scoring, Jonathan Trott, endured a rare failure, playing at a ball which he should probably have left from Johnson and dragging the ball on.

This error of judgment brought in the wonderfully talented but frustrating Kevin Pietersen. When he first burst onto the scene five years ago in that epic Ashes series of 2005 and for perhaps two years after, people began to suggest that he could establish himself as one of the true all time greats of England’s history and the modern era. Frustratingly for us, and we suspect many other English fans, he has proved to be too flawed to really establish himself as a great on the level of a Hutton, Hobbs, Gooch or Compton. Instead he inhabits the level below this as a player of genuine world class but despite his enormous talents to rival any of the greats, his temperament and shot selection frequently let him down.

Whilst on one hand this frustration is testimony to his talents and ability, the fact remains that KP’s flaws have a habit of making themselves felt at inconvenient times. He has a history of being dismissed when set and today was no different. Despite a couple of early alarms, Pietersen had settled and had begun to look really good when he played what can only be called a totally unnecessary hook shot at a harmless ball from Johnson. Coming as it did with three overs of the day to go, he would have had every right to receive a dressing down from Flower and Strauss. Being got out is one thing (a la Strauss) but in effect dismissing yourself is frustrating for all concerned – especially when you have a track record of doing this sort of thing. To make the transition to all time England great KP has to cut out these errors although with 71 tests under his belt you must suspect that this isn’t going to happen.

All the noise in the Aussie press has been the hailing of Usman Khawaja as a major talent and someone to carry the Aussie batting for the next decade following his innings of 37 in the first innings. We grant you that he looked composed, played some attractive and confident shots and generally looked like he belonged at test level; but to get as excited as the Aussie media are – well we feel it’s a little over the top!

It is of course a symptom of where the Australian’s find themselves as a team, but, the number of Aussies clutching at straws (any straws) to get something positive out of this Ashes is extraordinary. Even as recently as the previous Australian Summer, it was typical of the Australian cricketing establishment to congratulate themselves that any player coming into the Australian side would be of the requisite class to succeed – all due to the innate strength of Aussie cricket of course. This has now been exposed as a fallacy with players such as Phil Hughes, previously acclaimed as champions in waiting, shown up for the talented but flawed players they are.

Having said all this we do want to reiterate that Khawaja did look very good indeed but, for his sake if nothing else, don’t heap too much extra pressure on him yet. He has after all got almost 13,000 test runs less than the man who he has replaced and almost 4700 runs less than his captain for this test – the man who at least one Australian paper suggested Khawaja’s presence would help by ensuring Australia aren’t two wickets down for nothing every time Clarke walks into bat.

Finding your feet at test cricket is hard enough but expecting him to immediately be Australia’s ‘gun’ batsman is ridiculous.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

3 responses

4 01 2011
dingo

I think the press are trying desperately to get public attention back to the sport, with dwindling crowds attest to it’s popularity, trying to drum up support for the team in any way possible can only be beneficial to the stuttering form of the game. Let’s hope for cricket’s sake Khawaga does well.

4 01 2011
Bradders

Welcome back Dingo! Any chance of a piece?

4 01 2011
dingo

yeah, I’m going to give the ratings of the Aussie team, don’t expect me to be diplomatic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: