Will not believe in Kevin Pietersen exclusion till the fifth Test: Ryan Harris
Kevin Pietersen en route to his epic 355* for Surrey against Leicestershire had struck fear in the hearts of bowlers worldwide, particularly of Australia, who are set to tour England in July in their bid to defend the Ashes crown. News of KP’s exclusion came as sweet music to the ears of Aussie bowlers, paricularly Ryan Harris, who couldn’t believe his luck at the prospect of not bowling to the swashbuckling batsman again.
“Of course (I’m happy not to have a bowl at him), absolutely; he’s a bloody good player and one of the hardest to bowl to, I find,” Ryan Harris, the Australian paceman, told Cricket Australia’s website.
“In saying that, when you play sides like England, you want the best players playing – especially when we beat them, you want to beat the best team.”
Harris however added a word of caution and wondered if the decision would stand, given the swashbuckling batsman’s current form and known calibre as a player. In the England jersey, he has 8181 runs from 104 Tests at an impressive average of 47.28 and also has 4440 runs from 136 ODIs.
“I know that Strauss and him probably don’t get on, (but) I’m not going to believe it until we get over there and they pick their squad,” said Harris. “If he keeps going on and playing for Surrey – he may quit now – but if he keeps going and scoring hundred after hundred there’s going to be a lot of pressure to pick him.
“Although it has been said by the new cricket director, I’m not going to believe it until we play five Tests and Kevin Pietersen still hasn’t played.”
Players like Pietersen don’t grow on trees: Siddle
Despite being one of the few bowlers who have enjoyed a good run against Pietersen, Peter Siddle (currently playing for Lancashire) has expressed relief at the idea of not facing the maverick batsman.
“You can’t find someone to replace him,” said Siddle. “I think those players are once in a lifetime, with their confidence and aggression. You can never replace them and that’s what people have to come terms with. Players like that don’t grow on trees.
“It’s like trying to find someone to replace Shane Warne. If you have the second best spinner in the world they’re still not going to be good enough. A bloke that averages 50 in Test cricket, I’m happy enough to have out the side. Get somebody in who averages less. I’m happy to see him gone.”
Despite bowlers being happy to see Pietersen’s back, Glenn Maxwell has voiced his displeasure and criticised ECB’s decision. It is to be noted that Maxwell and Pietersen are currently teammates at Big Bash League’s Melbourne Stars franchise.
Here is what Maxwell posted in his twitter account in support of Pietersen: