Greig wants Pietersen warned over reckless shots

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The Independent Online

Former England captain Tony Greig believes Kevin Pietersen should be warned that he will be dropped if he continues playing reckless shots.

Greig wants England captain Andrew Strauss to take Pietersen to one side and tell him to cut out the irresponsible strokes, such as the sweep which saw him dismissed for 69 by Australia's Nathan Hauritz in England's first innings of the first Ashes Test in Cardiff.

Greig said: "It is Strauss's job. As captain you'd be saying to Pietersen 'Listen, we all know how well you can play. You don't need to prove anything to us with these fancy shots.'

"He may say you have to take the good with the bad, but if I was Strauss I'd be saying save those up for Twenty20 cricket or now and then in the 50-over format but in Test matches if you play any more shots like that we'll have to seriously consider giving someone else a go.

"You've got to be firm with these guys."

Greig revealed he had experienced a similar situation with England batsman Derek Randall in the 1970s when he kept getting out cheaply.

Greig, who was speaking on BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme, explained: "In our tour of India he kept making 30s and 40s and I bundled him up in the corner of the dressing room during the Centenary Test and said 'Look if you don't convert this half-century into something big then you are going to lose my support when it comes to sitting around the selection table.' And he made 174.

"Sometimes you have to take a firm stance with these players and I think Pietersen might fall into that category.

"Pietersen is a very exciting player but that particular shot was ridiculous. It's not as if he was up against Jim Laker. He was playing Hauritz relatively easily and to go and pull that shot out to a delivery which pitched a metre outside the off stump and try to paddle it around the on-side when the field was stacked was a really stupid shot.

"None of the Australians attempted a shot like that. The difference in the way England went about their business having got a start and the way Australia went about their business was the difference in the Test match."

Greig, however, insisted it was too early to make a judgement on Strauss's captaincy.

He added: "He took too long to bring spinners into play but I don't want to judge Strauss just yet. I'd prefer to wait and see how he goes."