August 19, 2012

England cricket

Compassionate KP

Philip Brown
 © Philip Brown
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It's high time I attempted to bring Shot Selection right up to date. Some of the photographs that I've featured recently are over 15 years old so I thought I'd choose a shot from the last couple of weeks.

The Headingley Test match in Leeds between England and South Africa finished in a draw and it proved to be an extremely interesting match. James Taylor played his first Test for England. However, the Test was overshadowed somewhat by an event 200 miles down the M1 called the Olympics.

By the way, if you're not familiar with the M1 it is one of Britain's most famous motorways. In fact it was the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom and connects London to Leeds. If you ever find yourself on the M1 getting peckish I'd suggest Watford Gap as a good services to stop at. Leicester Forest isn't too bad either.

I had tickets for the Olympic beach volleyball event on the Monday evening, the last scheduled day of the Test match but I was fairly confident of getting to the event as I thought that the match might conclude early or the captains could shake hands and call it a draw before 6pm. Anyway, I could worry about that later.

On the Saturday of the Test Kevin Pietersen began his innings. Pietersen plays shots that often make great pictures and I was tempted to move round to the eastern side to get better photographs of his pull shots and drives. He was joined in the middle by the new boy James Taylor.

Taylor played well but was eventually bowled by South Africa's Morne Morkel for 34 runs very late in the day. The light was really nice and as Taylor walked towards the dressing room Pietersen patted him a couple of times on the shoulder.

There had been a lot of photographs published in newspapers and on websites that week showing Taylor standing next to team-mates such as Steven Finn to illustrate that Taylor is relatively short. I wasn't actually a huge fan of doing that just for its own sake.

As can be seen in my photograph, Pietersen is quite tall and Taylor appears short by comparison. When I first saw the photo I thought it signified a kind of changing of the guard and the controversial events in the last two weeks have possibly made that a fair assessment. Pietersen is not playing in this third test match against South Africa* but he is a joy to photograph whether it's during training, a match or in a studio. I for one hope he represents England again. Pietersen gets quite a bit of flack for not being a team man but the moment captured in the photograph shows a caring and compassionate side to him.

I missed the beach volleyball on the Monday but popped in a few days later as I was an accredited Olympic photographer and as well as the men's bronze medal match in Horse Guards Parade I also saw Bananarama perform. What a week!

(* I'm typing this between balls on the 4th day - South Africa currently 187 for 4)

Specifications: Nikon D4, Nikkor 600mm len, f4.5, 1/1600th, ISO 320

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An Australian freelance cricket photographer based in England, Philip Brown has photographed over 150 Test matches around the world

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Posted by Shucka Khan on (August 22, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Great Photo. asanka G at August 20, 2012 2:44 PM Summed up the situation perfectly. The thing that worries me is how Strauss has complete backing from everyone... It doesn't seem to matter that the only people he has scored runs against in the past 2 years was a woeful WI side. ret at August 21, 2012 11:57 AM In KP's defence when was the last time private conversations between the CA and one their stars were leaked to the media by the CA? You are right though Katich grabbed Clarke by the throat a few years before he was captain.. Got thrown out the first chance Clarke got. However he still got shafted in my opinion.

Posted by alan on (August 22, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

@ ret, i do agree with you that any disloyalty to the captain should be considered an unforigiveable misdemeanour but at the same time the captain also owes loyalty to his players. Don't think all is known about how KP was being treated in the dressing room and if strauss did anything about the way KP may have been treated by certain teammates

Posted by growltiger on (August 22, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

The long and the short of it is that a little earlier, when the same two batsmen were not out at Tea, Pietersen chose not to walk off with Taylor, but to have a chin-wag with the fielding team. That looked equally strange, in retrospect, but doesn't make such a good photo.

Posted by Afsar on (August 22, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

Were are all aware that cricket is a gentleman's game supported by team work. I do not want to know what Peterson has done that has to upset English Cricket Board. Every mistake that he has made he was hung by the idiots. What the Board fails to understand that there has never been an England cricketer produced in the last 30 years of his caliber, for sure! If KP has a bit of attitude so what, I am shocked that the English fans have tolerated the board and not thrown them out. Replace them with Botham, Nassir Hussain, David Gower and Mike Holding (if he qualifies) and watch England perform. Replace Flower with Gary Kirsten as England Manager.

I just hope sanity prevails and KP withstands the pressure and continues to plays his delightful cricket strokes as he best of the best.

Posted by ret on (August 21, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Good photo, and I'm an Aussie who rates KP very highly as a batsman. However his behaviour left the ECB no choice. I'm surprised at the amount of support for his recall, because if a member of the Australian test team displayed such disloyalty to his captain, and team, his career would be over. No question. I'm amazed that so many people have leapt to his defence.

Posted by sumit on (August 21, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

i too would love to see KP back...what a fine cricketer....the best english cricketer that I have seen in my life...No Freddie, No Anderson could surpass KP's belligerent play.

Posted by Kunal Talgeri on (August 21, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

Indeed, this is a touching photograph. More importantly, it is another side of the one-sided thinking and coverage surrounding KP. Thanks Mr Brown for showing this side of KP. While he may be unabashedly selfish and egoistic, he is far more true to his talent than the sycophants in Andy Strauss' ranks.

Posted by asanka G on (August 20, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Great shot in the golden hour. It underlines poignantly that maybe KP is gone for good. I am astounded by the pigheaded arrogance of the England management and Strauss. Who do they think they are? They took England to humiliation in UAE and now are dissecting their team because they are too proud to back down. However, Bairstow did very well.

Posted by Raj on (August 19, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

How ironic! KP shows compassion to a man who was following the KP parody account on twitter. James Taylor probably wanted to be with the "in crowd" of the team -the bully boys Broad, Swann et al. For all his faults and ego, KP is not the only one to blame. The so called sniggering and "banter" in the workplace amounts to bullying in every other walk of life. I dont excuse KP for his faults but the media has been rather selective in their reporting.

Posted by Nick on (August 19, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

i believe that KP is one of great betsman and he served engled for so many years in difficult situations , he deserves atleast one more chance to play for england otherwise cricket will lose one great batsman.

Posted by Tony on (August 19, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Hi,

Im an Aussie, I don't know much about James Taylor, apart from the infamous fake KP twitter saying he was being replaced by a kid. When I saw the picture before reading the article, I honestly thought it was some kind of charity or 'make a wish' thing for an ill child.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Brown
An Australian freelance cricket photographer who has been based in England for over 20 years, Philip Brown has photographed over 150 Test matches and numerous one-day and T20 tournaments around the world. Possibly his proudest moment was winning a gold medal for barbecuing burgers and hot dogs at the Murrumbateman show.

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