Kevin Pietersen agrees with Andrew Strauss' decision on his omission from the Ashes squad
It has been over a month, since England won the Ashes. But, the vestiges of the old flame refuses to die. On Thursday, Kevin Pietersen has conceded that the decision not to recall him for the Test series against arch-rivals, Australia, turned out to be the correct one as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
Pietersen’s epiphany would seem to be the final nail in his coffin, regards to his international career. He said, "He had a decision to make, he made his decision and it's turned out absolutely fine: England won the Ashes. At the time I would have said 'Ridiculous, nonsense.' I might have said something stronger to him. But look, England have won the Ashes and I'm not a negative person. I am so positive. I am buzzing England have done what they have done."
During England’s 3-2 victory at home, a transient middle-order coped admirably against the Aussie bowlers, with Joe Root establishing himself amongst the premier batsmen in test cricket. This happened after Andrew Strauss who was appointed as Director of Cricket by the ECB in May, had openly refused to bring back Pietersen into the England team.
The South Africa-born batsman was dumped unceremoniously from the national set-up after England were whitewashed Down Under by a rampant Australian team. Even though he finished as the leading run-scorer for England in that series, his dismissal by attempting an audacious shot in order to clear long-on off the bowling of Nathan Lyon at the MCG and subsequent reaction resulted in a scathing criticism from the ECB members.
After a complete overhaul, Strauss took over from Paul Downton in an administrative capacity. As expected, his initial press meet was greeted with “KP Questions” and his riposte reflected a continuity regarding the decision to back Alastair Cook completely who was uncomfortable to the prospect of sharing the dressing room with Pietersen.
The maverick batsman’s career was filled with controversies, ever since he arrived into the spotlight as a funky-haired and brash youngster in the epic Ashes series win of 2005. After a disappointing start to the home series against South Africa in 2012, he was dropped midway citing his “disciplinary attitude” when he was reported to have sent abusive text messages about his team-mates to members in the rival camp.
He earned a recall on the behest of Cook for the tour to India wherein he played one of the greatest test match innings of all-time in Mumbai. He counter-attacked the spin duo of Ashwin and Ojha on a raging turner and paved the way for a historic series win on Indian soil after 28 years.
He ran into further trouble when he revolted against Andy Flower in the dressing room, thereby engulfing his team members in anger. Ironically, when Pietersen was eventually discarded, he finished as the leading run-scorer for England in all forms of international cricket.
It is widely believed that whatever slim hopes the 35-year old had for a recall into international cricket, it was dashed by England’s home Ashes victory.
The batting line-up looks to be secure with Joe Root leading the middle-order with aplomb and the presence of exciting young batsmen such as James Taylor, James Vince certainly adds value. England will travel to the United Arab Emirates for a tough and testing series against Pakistan, who had previously whitewashed them 3-0 during their previous trip to the desert in 2012.