English cricket August 13, 2008

A little too early for Ashes

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen may have had a winning start, but Angus Fraser warns that thing could well go downhill. He writes in the Independent:

Pietersen, seemingly, already has his eyes fixed on next summer's Ashes but there is a danger that he will suffer a couple of heavy falls over the next few months if he spends too much time dreaming about the future, starting with next week's five match one-day series against South Africa. Graeme Smith's side will overtake Australia and become the number one ranked one-day side in the world if they defeat England comprehensively and, when the hosts' indifferent limited over form is considered, a walloping at the hands of South Africa is not out of the question. Such a result would partially deflate Pietersen's pumped up tyres.

Duncan Fletcher, in the Guardian, says Steve Harmison's real test will come during the winter tour to India. He says,

I'm not sure I buy the argument about overs under the belt being so important for Harmison. It sounds like a nice theory but does that mean every summer he should be left out of the first five Tests and bowl in county cricket instead, so that he's ready for the last two Tests of the season? The important thing with Harmison is that he gets his mind right and proves to himself that he is up to it, because England need him in the Ashes, where the presence of him and Flintoff in the same side can sow worrying thoughts in a batter's mind.

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo