October 4, 2012

England's Pietersen dilemma

A second opportunity for 'awkward' Pietersen

Devashish Fuloria

Kevin Pietersen has signed a four-month contract with the ECB and Michael Vaughan in the Telegraph writes it is the best way forward. However, he says that both Pietersen and his England team-mates will need to show respect to each other, while Pietersen should take the lead to improve his behaviour.

I hope he realises what is at stake. If he knuckles down and plays for another three years he could walk away with records unmatched by any other England player. He could win five Ashes series, a Twenty20 World Cup, score 10,000 Test runs and retire with an average of 50 in all formats. What a brilliant career. He would be the best England batsman who has ever lived.

The penny may have dropped over the last couple of weeks. He will have realised in Sri Lanka how much it hurts not playing in a major tournament for England when you are fit and healthy.

Mike Selvey in the Guardian writes that now that Pietersen's return is imminent, Andy Flower will have the tough job of planning the rehabilitation of the 'awkward character'.

Martin Sameuls writes in the Daily Mail that when Pietersen joins the team, England need the 'the peacock, the ego on stilts' and not 'some cowed, beleaguered, rehabilitated one'.

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Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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