KP Makes Way For England’s Premier Batsman

7 03 2011

Two bits of England Cricket World Cup news over the past 24 hours. Firstly that Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss’s erstwhile opening partner, has gone home with a hernia problem, only to be replaced by England’s very own Saviour Of One Day Cricket, Eoin Morgan.

We then started wondering – and finished that strenuous process little more than a minute later – who would we rather have in our team and overwhelmingly came down in support of  the Dublin born man. KP emerged onto the scene back in 2005 with a bang that rivalled our own universes beginnings in its proportions, yet unlike our own universe which has kept expanding and will continue to do so for many eons yet, KP has cooled, hardened and begun to shrink. His average has come down, the number of hundreds he scores in all forms of cricket has diminished rapidly and in ODI cricket, he has been average at best for quite some time.

It is true that he wasn’t having the worst tournament on record, and we quite liked him opening the innings, yet you always have the feeling that when KP is 40 not out, disaster is just around the corner. He still scores the odd fifty in attractive fashion but has not gone on and scored a hundred since 2008. Put simply, he is not the key player he once was.

Morgan on the other hand is probably, even despite a poor series in Australia, the most important player that England have in this form of the game. His ability to build an innings, keeping things ticking over in the middle overs before exploding at the end, or his equally impressive ability to blast from the off means that as a middle order finisher he is England’s Michael Bevan.

If you doubt us, ask yourself this: Who would you back to take England home from 100-4 chasing 270 or more? Only one man for us and with all due respect, its not Bopara, Bell or even Jonathan Trott in his new guise.

Taking this a step further, who would you rate as the most important batsman in the test side?

Strong arguments could be made for Alistair Cook, Andrew Strauss or even Ian Bell in recent times, yet we think you would struggle to make this argument for KP. Barring his double hundred in the Ashes he has not performed for some time and, by contrast, it is his fellow South African import, Jonathan Trott, who can assume this mantle.

Still not a player you can drop easily but certainly someone who needs to step his game up if he is going to be remembered as the once in a generation player he threatened to be when he first came on the scene.

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