News came in last week about Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from the one-day squad and his being “forced” to retire from T20 internationals, due to England’s ridiculous selection criteria. In this article, I hope to compare KP to his Indian counterparts and take a dig at England’s ridiculous selection criteria.
The IPL has now completed 5 seasons, and with the success of the latest edition, I see that it will become part of the international cricket calendar. For all the finger pointing that KP has retired from the limited overs circuit, but will play the IPL, it is absolutely nonsense, as even in this season, he rushed back to not only be in time for the first Test, but also a first class game for Surrey. His comparison to Gayle is completely unfair, as he has not missed one game for the country (when he is fit and has been picked).
England’s selection criterion totally defies logic. It says that one needs to play both 50 over and 20 over cricket to be eligible for selection in either format. In this regard, both Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook have not “retired” from T20 cricket, but neither will play another T20 international in future. Still, till recently Strauss played the ODI game, while Cook is the captain of the side.(There is Jonathan Trott, too). So, why the double standards? Is it because Pietersen is a much brasher, cockier, outspoken person who is not afraid to speak his mind? Is it because of his various run-ins with the ECB, that KP has decided enough is enough?
From Peter Moores to patching up with Andy Flower and then criticized for leaving England’s World Cup squad early, and more recently for his Twitter outburst over Nick Knight. Agreed, KP has spoken more than he needs to, but surely you would take them from your best limited overs player and Man of the Tournament in the last T20 World Cup.
In addition to the wealth of talent and experience, England stand to lose a marquee player. Just comparing the numbers alone, below is how he stacks up against his Indian counterparts.
- One of seven England batsman to score over 4000 ODI runs , sixth in the all time list of English cricketers in terms of runs scored.
-The sixth in the all time list of Indian cricketers in terms of runs scored is Virender Sehwag.
- Second highest English century maker
-Second highest in India’s ODI century list is Sourav Ganguly
- English batsman with most World Cup centuries
-Indian batsman with most WC centuries is Sachin Tendulkar
- Highest run scorer for England in T20 internationals
-Highest run scorer for India in T20 internationals is Gautam Gambhir
- In a group of 11 players with average over 40 and strike rate over 85 which includes Richards, Sachin,Dhoni and Hussey.
What this highlights is, of course one cannot compare the volume of limited overs cricket that India and England play, however, in the limited opportunities he has received compared to the Indians, he is right up there. England’s losing a genuine match winner and world cricket, an entertainer, and they don’t seem to be realizing it.