January 18, 2010

England in South Africa 2009-10

The Trott and KP conundrum

Kanishkaa Balachandran
Jonathan Trott loses his offstump, South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Cape Town, January 7, 2010
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The heavy defeat at the Wanderers highlighted flaws in England's approach, but one of the biggest concerns through the series is the declining form of two players - Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen, writes Duncan Fletcher in the Guardian. Fletcher points out flaws in Pietersen's technique and Trott's mental approach.

Firstly, he has been getting too low in his stance at the crease. He is bending his knees too much. In any game played with a moving ball, it is crucial to keep the head and the eyes still. In cricket a batsman needs to keep his gaze as parallel to the ground as possible. Because Pietersen is dropping so low, he has to rise up again as the ball is coming at him. His eyes are travelling in the opposite direction to the trajectory of the delivery, moving up as the ball is coming down. This is affecting his ability to properly judge line and length.

In the same paper, Vic Marks says the performances of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel highlighted the gulf between the two sides.

In the Independent, James Lawton says Collingwood's gritty performances was the biggest positive England could take from the series, but unfortunately, it had to be dwarfed by Pietersen's diminishing reputation as a hero.

Despite sharing the series with a lionhearted performance, it was still a patchy home summer for South Africa, writes Rob Houwing in Sport 24.

In the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain feels Andrew Strauss should go to Bangladesh and allow Alastair Cook to concentrate on his batting. He also feels that Trott should move down the order and allow Ian Bell to take the No.3 slot.

In the Times, Mike Atherton writes that there was a kind of minor heroism in the solid figure of Paul Collingwood, however, who top-scored in the second innings, as he had in the first. Collingwood apart, England’s batting was woeful, as it was under par for most of the series.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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