Ashes HQ ASHES HQ 2009

Great News – Pietersen Fails

Ask any England supporter which batsman’s runs are vital to our chances of regaining the Ashes this summer. Ask any Australian which batsman’s runs are most detrimental to their chances of retaining the urn. The predominant answer will of course be the same. Kevin Pietersen.

So should we be worried that in his last chance of scoring some runs prior to the Ashes he returned seven runs from two innings against a county attack? Many will say that Pietersen hasn’t been in great form of late and that earlier in the summer he failed to score a century in a home series for the first time in his career. Did the whole captaincy saga really annoy him that much, is his game affected?

The answer is no. You would have to imagine that nobody is reading anything into his lack of runs against Warwickshire, though it would be nice if the Aussies were. Pietersen is one of those sportsmen who thrives against the best. Some will use that as ammunition against him, and say that he should always give his all, no matter what. But the truth is, if England were to play Bangladesh in a Test, and then Australia, you’d bet on him to score more runs against Australia.

It can be worrying to see batsmen scratching around unable to make any runs in first-class games prior to a Test series, be they tour games, domestic games, or rare warm-ups against county sides, as this one was. The truth is that there is absolutely nothing to see here. Pietersen failed today, and he failed yesterday. Good. Ricky Ponting won’t be reading anything into that. Pietersen will ton up in the first innings in Cardiff. You read it here first, folks. Kevin’s Ashes are coming, I am more convinced than ever about that after today’s failure.

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