July 13, 2011


KP's airs and sixes

Andy Zaltzman


The number of consecutive ODI innings in which Kevin Pietersen has been out caught. During this sequence he has passed 25 on eight occasions, but his 59 against Ireland in Bangalore is his solitary half-century. Nine of these dismissals have been lofted shots ‒ he has been caught at long-on twice, deep midwicket, mid-on, midwicket, mid-off, point, extra cover, and by the bowler (somewhat unfortunately in that case, as Munaf Patel pulled off an act of literally face-saving self-preservation in the World Cup). Pietersen has also been caught reverse-sweeping against Ireland, and edging a forcing off-side shot in the final ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday; only an edge off Robin Peterson in the first over of England's titanic World Cup encounter with South Africa in Chennai was not an attacking shot. If this proves nothing else, it demonstrates that Pietersen can play all round the wicket. In the air.

Also: The number of sixes Pietersen has thwacked in his last 34 ODI innings, dating back to November 17, 2008, at a rate of one every 83 balls faced. In his first 26 ODI innings, he planked 34 sixes - clearing the ropes once every 38 balls faced. Pietersen is equal 57th in the chart of Most ODI Sixes Hit Since November 17, 2008 (and only the seventh-highest England player). It is admittedly a niche chart, but a chart nonetheless.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

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Andy Zaltzman
Andy Zaltzman was born in obscurity in 1974. He has been a sporadically-acclaimed stand-up comedian since 1999, and has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4. He is currently one half of TimesOnline's hit satirical podcast The Bugle, alongside John Oliver. Zaltzman's love of cricket outshone his aptitude for the game by a humiliating margin. He once scored 6 in 75 minutes in an Under-15 match, and failed to hit a six between the ages of 9 and 23. He would have been ideally suited to Tests, had not a congenital defect left him unable to play the game to anything above genuine village standard. He writes the Confectionery Stall blog on Cricinfo.

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