Strauss has faith that Pietersen will hit form
Andrew Strauss, the England captain, has backed the misfiring Kevin Pietersen to shake off his recent run of bad form as they prepare to face Pakistan in a four-Test series ahead of the Ashes this winter.
Strauss is unconcerned that Pietersen, who recently became a father, has failed to score more than 50 runs in his last 17 one-day internationals. His last big one-day score was an unbeaten 111 against India in November 2008 but Strauss is confident that Pietersen will bounce back.
"Kevin has just turned 30 but he has got a lot of cricket left in him," Strauss said. "He has had a tough time, there is no doubt about that. He has not scored as many runs as he has done in the past. But he is a high-quality cricketer and he will come back and play match-winning innings for us.
"He has had a bit of a break and that has been well received. A new addition to the family changes your priorities a bit and you need to get your life in order. I think he will come out and play really well against Pakistan.
"Kevin wants to be a great cricketer," he added, "and he knows the way to do that is by scoring runs consistently and putting in match-winning performances and I have no worries that he will do that."
Strauss is clearly backing him to return to form in their series against a Pakistan side which has already had to appoint a new captain following the retirement from Test cricket of Shahid Afridi after just one match in charge. "I was surprised, partly because it happened so suddenly and because it seems strange to be made captain and then to resign after one Test match," Strauss said. "But he has got his reasons for it and if he does not feel that he is worth his place in the side or he is not enjoying the format, then the worst thing you can do is continue to captain when your heart is not in it.
"It will put a strain on the Pakistan team and Salman Butt is going to have to take over the ropes and keep them on an even keel. Over the last few years there has been a lot of upheaval for Pakistan but that has not necessarily prevented them from being a very dangerous side.
"It is a step-up in competition and with half an eye on the Ashes, it is important we win as many of these games as possible."
The four-Test series against Pakistan, which begins on 29 July at Trent Bridge, will also provide opportunities for other players to stake a claim for a place in the side, not least Eoin Morgan.
Strauss has no doubts the Middlesex batsman can make the transition from the shorter form of the game to Test cricket. He added: "Eoin's two greatest strengths are that he can play the situation exceptionally well in the shorter forms of the game and he has the game to adapt to any conditions he encounters.
"There is no reason why he can't bring that strength to Test cricket. He has a clear mind, reads the situation well, and he can play in a number of different ways."
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.