I am a keen cricket fan but I have found the England team harder to watch over the years. Increasingly these days I find myself turning the television off during Test matches. I cannot watch a team that wants to bat all day for 200 runs. I like to watch batsmen who will entertain and, as things stand, an opening spell from Jimmy Anderson is about as good as it gets.
For that reason I cannot understand why England have turned their back on Kevin Pietersen. He is the best batsman in the team but, more than that, he is the kind of player that you want to watch. As we say in my part of the world, he empties the bar when he comes out to bat. For young people watching the game, Pietersen is the man who makes you fall in love with cricket.
This is an England team that is struggling for a star turn. I like Jos Buttler, of Lancashire. He will have a go. Ian Bell can do it. Joe Root and Gary Ballance too. But Pietersen is different to them all. His age, 34, has been cited against him but that is nothing for a batsman. We’re asking him to make 100s, not play centre midfield.
I understand that Andrew Strauss has personal issues with Pietersen. That happens in any team. There were players I shared a dressing room with who didn’t like each other.
You don’t have to talk to each other. You just need to win matches.
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