Pietersen to open?

England are considering opening the batting with Kevin Pietersen in Friday’s fourth ODI against Pakistan. With Marcus Trescothick unlikely to play any further part in the series, England could shake things up in an attempt to start the innings with a bang.

With Andrew Flintoff likely to return to the middle order as a batsman only in next month’s Champions Trophy, Pietersen could accompany captain Andrew Strauss or Alastair Cook at the top of the order. Trescothick’s likely absence has meant that England will be forced to reshuffle their batting lineup, but it remains to be seen whether that will involve a change of role for Pietersen.

The candidates to replace Trescothick in the XI are Cook and Ed Joyce – both of whom have opened for England in ODIs this summer – although if Pietersen is promoted, Joyce would be the more likely candidate to slot into the middle order. With Flintoff’s return to the number five spot imminent, a change of role for Pietersen along with a new face in the lineup would mean a very different England middle order to the one that began the summer – but with England having beaten nobody but Ireland in ODIs this summer, the new-look side could hardly do any worse than the current one.

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