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Flower, KP and the England blame game

The blame game seems all the rage at the moment. Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen are both attracting flak and English cricket is all the worse for it

Andrew McGlashan

January 9, 2014

Comments: 105 | Text size: A | A
Hopps: England can't be two-faced on IPL promise

The blame game seems all the rage at the moment.

It's obvious, isn't it, that Kevin Pietersen was entirely at fault for the 5-0 Ashes score? He constantly falls out with coaches and management; plays irresponsible shots; doesn't pull his weight; fields on the boundary; gives warm-up matches short shrift; is a bad influence on younger players and, of course, he wants to play in the IPL.

Or is it? How about it is Andy Flower who can't work with Pietersen; those irresponsible shots were an attempt to wrestle some initiative back (this is, after all, was an England team called too timid and defensive); he was his team's top scorer and if someone had helped him could have laid a foundation for a win in Melbourne; he has never been much of a catcher so why not field on the boundary; he trains as hard as anyone and if those young players have his work ethic they will go far; and all England contracts now allow for an extended IPL window.

The ECB dropped the ball on Twenty20, it's not the players' fault for wanting their slice. Those that want to play should not be castigated, just as those who decline should not be made out to be saints.

The point is not to suggest that either side of the Flower-Pietersen argument is wrong or right - some of those examples are too simplistic - but just to encourage some rational thinking in the whole affair.

It is a good job Flower is no longer in day-to-day charge of the one-day side and to a lesser extent that Pietersen is rested because everyone just needs to take a step back and a deep breath. In defence of Flower, that is what he has publicly said he wants to do.

Clearly differences have emerged on the tour - these things tend to happen during a whitewash - but no one believed that Flower and Pietersen would become bosom buddies after what happened in 2012. Even before then it was fairly obvious it was nothing more than a professional relationship. Flower, remember, was part of Peter Moores' backroom staff when the debacle between Pietersen and Moores occurred at the end of 2008. Then when Pietersen left the 2011 World Cup injured, Flower made it clear that he thought the batsman could have battled through the pain.

Neither does it sound like Pietersen, if he has transgressed, was the only one. Matt Prior, in his Daily Telegraph column, talked in general terms about the team losing their respect, becoming lazy with little details such as dress code and team meetings. They sound trivial, but also sound strikingly similar to what happened to Australia in India.

During that episode four players were suspended for not doing 'homework'. One of them was Mitchell Johnson, now an Ashes legend, along with Shane Watson, a key part of Australia's side, and James Pattinson who can still develop into a world-class quick. Only Usman Khawaja has drifted off the scene.

The man to pay the biggest price, ultimately, was Mickey Arthur. His reputation has taken a hammering due to how his Australian career ended, but he remains a highly credentialed coach. In the end, Cricket Australia decided it was him, rather than some potential bad influences among the players, who needed removing.


Andy Flower chats with Kevin Pietersen, Trent Bridge, July 9, 2013
Life behind the dark glasses for Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen is hard to comprehend © Getty Images
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That is not to say the same should happen to Flower - it clearly won't, given the support he has within the walls of the ECB boardroom. The only way he will leave is if he is not backed over his Pietersen stance, once it becomes apparent how extreme that stance will be.

Flower had his chance once to remove Pietersen from English cricket and was talked around, in no small part to Alastair Cook and it remains to seen how much influence Cook (who is in Australia for another three weeks) will have this time. The call has been for Cook to be allowed to build the team in his mould, but Flower will be in a tough position if that mould still includes Pietersen.

Pietersen is far from faultless in all this. For starters he needs to step away from Twitter for a while and just lie low. There are some raw feelings at the moment and retweeting columns where Michael Vaughan calls for you to be made vice-captain are unlikely to help. Neither, for that matter, is engaging with respected cricket journalists who make cogent arguments regardless of which side of the fence you sit on.

Pietersen's track-record of alienating people is long, involving most, if not all, his former teams. But since committing his future to English cricket (what happened in South Africa was perhaps a warning of what could occur later on, but also stemmed from wider issues) would any of them really be telling the truth if they said they were a better side without him?

What must Paul Downton be thinking? Those 5.30am alarm calls to go and tackle high-level investors and stock-market fluctuations will seem easy compared to the mess he is stepping into. In fact, he doesn't actually start officially until February 1 but you suspect that his inbox is already overflowing.

The transition of control from Hugh Morris to Downton (along with James Whitaker taking over from Geoff Miller as national selector) has encouraged a feeling that Flower has unimpeachable authority within English cricket. He is a fine man and outstanding coach but that is not a healthy position to be in.

And, while it is not the be-all and end-all, English cricket could do with regaining a human element. It is easy to make too much of the 'fun' introduced by Darren Lehmann, but neither should it be overlooked. What can't be doubted is that Lehmann has helped Australian cricket re-engaged with the public.

If it is Flower who wins out in this latest power struggle, he could do worse than heed that lesson. It would not look good to have ousted the most dynamic player in the team and not respond by becoming a touch more accessible.

This may be the end for Pietersen, who knows, but it should not be made out that he provided all the ills of an Ashes campaign where few came out smelling of roses. The problems in English cricket, which have festered for longer than this blighted tour, will not be solved by just removing one of the greatest batsmen of this generation.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 0:16 GMT)

The fact is that the last time to do ANYTHING - let alone sack arguably your best player - is a week after you've just lost a 5-0 series. We've been through it before (only, as I recall, it was pedalos that made the news last time 'round) and came back in roaring fashion - why not this time too? I also seem to remember a certain G. Boycott being regarded as a pretty devisive character in the changing-room. Didn't stop him from topping 8,000 runs for England though, or rescuing us from some naughty situations - and that's when we weren't as good a team. These things go in pendulum swings, and we've had the best of the Ozzies for the better part of 10 years now; perhaps we were due for a wake-up call. I do agree though that it might be worth taking a leaf out of Darren Lehmann's book: It's a GAME chaps; stop naval gazing and go out and *enjoy* it - and forget the folks who think their grannies could do better.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 13, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Get rid of Pietersen immediately. India is touring England this year and it would be good to face England without him. Bring in someone like Robert key who is more disciplined, listens to Flower and does not play IPL.Please !!!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

As Hansen put it as an Australian, dropping KP is a good idea, for other teams, not team England.

We are already destroying the promise shown by Root in his earlier innings. Because of chopping and changing he is rapidly going downhill. Welcome to mediocre England of the past.

Posted by golgo_85 on (January 11, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

The entire team management to be blamed of course and KP should be one of the last few to take the flack who didn't have a, particularly, bad tour, all things considered. When Trott became unavailable, that void could've easily been filled with Compton who had been treated unfairly to begin with. Then, there's the Bresnan issue. Everytime and it is absolutely everytime the chosen 3rd seamer for the 1st test of a series hadn't performed to the highest of expectations after being out of the team for a while and replacing Bresnan, the management goes back to Bresnan straightway. That 3rd seamer needed a fair go. But no, we bring 3 seamers to fill in the 3rd seamer slot but persist with Bresnan anyway. That's the mentality we need to get rid of for which the management is solely responsible. Why even bother bringing Panesar when he would be underused anyway? Those 3 key issues alongside the general weakness facing Mitchell Johnson as he'd started to breed fear and havoc were enough

Posted by ruester on (January 11, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

I don't care about statistics really. Vaughan and Trescothick would of not got a look I if you go on averages. I'm sorry to say that many. England supporters forget what a match winner KP is. he has played three of the most outstanding match winning innings in the last two years.. The one against India was staggering! He is a phenomenal player who does not deserve to be hung out to dry by Flower or Cook.

Posted by TheAlpacinoOfSydney on (January 11, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Both Alastair Cook and Andy Flower create a constrained, conservative and restrictive attitude in the dressing room, and for that reason Cook should be replaced as a captain and Flower should be sacked immediately as a coach. I think the ideal england team atmosphere would be in 2005 when they beat Australia- created by Duncan Fletcher. They played a thrilling brand of cricket which resulted from their love and enjoyment of the game. And the dressing room atmosphere rubbed off on KP- back then he was completely fearless and simply went out and had fun- culminating in a majestic 158 at the oval. To bring out the best in KP, a different dressing room atmosphere has to be created. He is a special player and a match winner- but of late his batting has changed- it can get back to where it was when he finds his old sense of enjoyment. Keep KP and unlock his best by changing the coach and captain

Posted by liz1558 on (January 11, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

@sam kumar - as an insider I can only say thank you for your comment

Posted by bobmartin on (January 11, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

@ Yevghenn.... You continue to miss the fact that the discussion is about Pietersen.. not anyone else..His past performances mean nothing...If you start selecting people because of what they done in the past...you could bring back all sorts of players...His current form and all the other inter-related matters are what will influence whether or not he is worth his place in the team. However, I can see that if any proof of the old saying, that there are none so blind as those who will not see, is needed, we need only read your undying support for him... I will be surprised if the selectors see things the way you do ...

Posted by   on (January 11, 2014, 1:15 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding as an outsider, I can say you are making zero sense, despite all your wailing!

Posted by liz1558 on (January 10, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

@Yorkshire Pud - all he has to do is what wally Hammond did a few years back: 563 in two innings for once out.

Posted by Yevghenny on (January 10, 2014, 20:07 GMT)

how is saying that he is performing no worse than anyone else in the side a blinkered view?? If you think he is not worth his place, then none of them are worth their place surely!! Who is the one with the blinkered view when they are completely ignoring who is going to come in and replace him, and why it should even be him under scrutiny for his record when it is not much different to anyone else in the side?

Posted by bobmartin on (January 10, 2014, 18:29 GMT)

Yevghenny... In your blinkered support of Pietersen you miss the whole point that was being made...and that is.. is Pietersen currently worth his place in the side ? How he compares statistically with other players is immaterial, since statistics on their own are just part of the equation...And taking all things into consideration, I and I'm sure a lot of other people, are of the impression that he is more trouble than he is worth..

Posted by Yevghenny on (January 10, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

So I take it then Yorkshire that Bell's trotts and Cooks records are far superior to Pietersens for you to say he has not delivered and not worth his place? You talk like an average of 48 in test cricket is run of the mill, so I guess these other 3 average mid to high 50's over the same period of time?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 10, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

@Yevghenny, but it isnt, if you take this isolated series maybe, yet look at his stats since 2009, hes averaged Less than Cook, Trott, and Bell.

That even considers Cooks bad 2010 and 2013, Trott didnt have a great 2013 either, Bells Average is boosted by a very good Summer with the bat.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 10, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

@liz1558, It isnt a couple of KP peak innings, he would need to average close to 100 for 10 innings to get to get his average back to around 50, at an average of 60 over 20 innings,

At an average of 60 over 20 innings his average would increase to 48 ((1200 + 8183)/ 193), if he had 2 Not outs in that group of 20 that then the average would increase his average to around 49.

Alternatively scoring 500 runs over 10 innings with 8 or more NO's may actually help, but as he only has 8 NO's in 181 innings its highly imporbable as he gets 1 NO every 22 innings.

Which everway you perm it its big ask of a player whos average has been sub 45 for the last 2 years.

Posted by Yevghenny on (January 10, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

yorkshire, you say he is a shadow of his former self, and yet his current record is still better than practically everyone else in the England side, he was simply on another planet before 2009, but that still doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a spot in the side as it is still right up there with anyone else you can care to think of - I notice you never offer alternative records to prove that he is not worth his place

Posted by liz1558 on (January 10, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

Some are making far too much out of batting averages - it would only take a KP special or two to take the average back up to 49/50 - where it has been for most of his career. Inda and SL are next for England at home, where KP really excels. Cook's average has fallen even further - from a high point of just over 50 after Mumbai game, to 46.5 now. Maybe he should go?

Posted by Surajrises on (January 10, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

Things are only restricted right now to KP & Flower. I believe there is a lot of politics being played within the team and Cook is equally a part of it obviously he is the Skipper! Eng still don't have a player as good as KP to be replaced. I am sure without him they would have got out even more cheaply. If there was no politics, Trott wouldn't have gone home, Swann wouldn't have retired midway, the team would have gelled together nicely and won the ASHES in Australia. They definitely need to look at the base of the issue and clear it out rather than just blaming KP. I am sure that the things are far worse than what it looks...

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 10, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

@Chris Moody, interesting stats, however as a proporition cook scored a higher proportion of the runs (55% against 49%) than KP did, in regards to the finger pointing it has been pointed at the top 3 quite a lot and quite rightly. the question is though have any been as disruptive as KP.

The problem still remains that KP is a shadow of himself, and has been since 2009, where his average for what is effectively the second half of his current career has dropped to around 44.5 compared with 50.5 in the first half.

Compare that to cook how despite having a bad year in 2012 has seen his average increase from 43 to just under 50 in a similar comparisson (first half to second half).

Posted by dar268 on (January 10, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

Is KP worth it? In my view, no. A test average in the middle-40s is not that big a deal in the modern age. He is a player of great innings rather than a great player and the great innings are beginning to get more and more spaced out. Above all, he is a surly and divisve figure in the team. Australia dropped a player and person in the same mould, Dean Jones, in the early 1990s and never looked back.

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

I think dropping KP would be an excellent idea. Speaking as an Australian.

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

In the 5 tests, England scored just 527 runs across 10 innings before KP was required to bat. Australia scored 874 runs before Michael Clarke had to bat. Why so much scrutiny for KP when Nos.1-3 need to take a long hard look at themselves...?

When he was actually batting, England scored 595 runs, of which he scored 294. While Cook was batting, England scored 444 runs (he scored 246). So why so many jibes that he played irresponsibly and threw his wicket away?

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

Cant blame only KP for the complete whitewash.... Its Captian Cook who should have lead the team in a better manner..... KP is a player of his own class and there is no second thout on that. Biut the defeat should be shared equally in the team instead blaming only one.

Posted by Chomolungma on (January 10, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

High amongst the recurring comments here is that it's not Pietersen who's to blame for any disharmony in the England dressing room, it's the coach, the captain, the senior players in the team and the rest of the backroom staff. I'm sure I've heard that before. .....hook, line and sinker!

Posted by PutMarshyOn on (January 10, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

None of this would matter if England were winning. It doesn't affect the reality now - Eng are on the slide. It isn't Flower's fault anymore than it was his doing that he had so many players in career-best form in 10/11. The fact that he wants complete control indicates a certain lack of perspective re. his influence on what happens in the middle. If he really doesn't want Eng's most destructive player (albeit not as regularly as of 3 years ago) then there really isn't much choice - Flower should go. Runs and wickets are what counts.

Posted by Micky.Panda on (January 10, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

KP is the only English batsman that has been really feared by opponents. Enough said. Dropping KP would be like when Australia dropped Katich in terms of stupidity. Not much criticism for Australian batters that got out playing risky shots in this series. Like Aussie batsmen, KP tries to dominate the bowling. Carberry's very slow defensive innings was widely criticised. KP was far from the worst performing batsman. Who cares if he has an ego. Most champions do.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 10, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

@London_Eye, again you are missled by hyperbole, that englands change in fortunes are attributed to KP joining the team, the team without KP had actually been winning series since the SA tour in 2003/4, if anything KP came into an england side that was already confident off the back of winning 3 series on the bounce before the summer of 2005.

After 2005, I agree KP was producing great innings, but since 2009 his batting average has been dropping off, and since 2009 he has only been instrumental in 4-5 wins out of the 56 tests that hes played and even then its debatable if his contribution made the difference in all but a couple of them, Mumbai is a good example who were the real match winners, Monty and swann took 19 of the 20 wickets in that game, KP made 189 and Cook 122.

Posted by shanks1967 on (January 10, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

KP can single handedly win matches in all 3 formats of the game. Yeah, he is a star and a maverick. He made so much difference to the England team in India tour. But for his match turning 186 on a turner against so called good Indian spin attack at home, England would have lost their plot. Andy Flower was at best a plodder. He brings the same plodding tactics as a coach. A coach's influence can be limited only to the dressing room. KP got out to irresponsible shots. What about the others? All of them got out whether they were responsible or not!!!. Ian Bell could not find form. Cook was struggling. Carberry was a joke. Bairstow, Prior, Swann, Broad all of them who could do a bit with the bat struggled against a very disciplined, rejuvenated, and well planned and executed Aussie bowling attack. So easy way out for the board is to paint KP as villain and axe him...the Flowers and Cooks of the world come out smelling of roses. What a ridiculous way of handling a superstar.

Posted by JojoMaharaj on (January 10, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

Point to remember is that England didn't bat well earlier this year in Ashes at England and even though the Australian team wasn't able to figure out the right playing 11, the result could easily have been 2-1 or even 1-1, instead of 3-0 at that time. Cook was equally unimaginative and defensive then like this time. Strauss's team was no exception, but had couple more attacking player like KP to conceal the over-defensive strategies of Andy Flower/think-tank. Andy had a good English team to start with and other big teams, except SA were mostly going through transitions in that period. That makes a decent English team under a decent and hardworking coach looks like a great team flourishing under the supervision of a great coach. Now that the phase is gone, England will look poorer the harder they try to do well under this ordinary leadership.

Posted by arnav.c on (January 10, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

I am Indian cricket fan and have always being amazed by the shoddy treatment Peitersen got from the English team/ECB/former players/media etc..He is one proven match winner for the team who can play all 3 formats,and break any attack to pieces. Yes is egoistic but aren't all superstars in any field. He needs to be managed , his ego fed a bit for the ultimate result of a victorious english team.I think he should be brought back as Captain and Flower removed. Flower has to take the blame for the Ashes debacle and dodgy calls like dropping Nick Crompton , non selection of Onions, Trott issues, batting positions of Bell, Root, etc etc.

So what if Pietersen wants to play IPL ? And why are the English so much against IPL?. Almost all the SA test & ODI team play IPL , so does the current aussie ODI/T20team...it haven't effected their national performance. Shane Watson was discovered in the IPL and Mitchell Johnson re discovered form in the IPL

Posted by Rufus_Fuddleduck on (January 10, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

Of course it is Pietersen's doing that Mitchell Johnson's radar worked beautifully, Ryan Harris' body held up, Lyon discovered a big heart and a few tricks and Siddle kept going. And not to speak of him terrorising Trott and doing God-knows-what to Swann. How did Ben Stokes escape the black hole that is Pietersen's influence? If the cosy club is not to be lynched for giving blanket absolution to Flower and Cook, they need a wicked villain. So step up KP. The stake is probably being warmed up right now.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (January 10, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

KP is no angel, but the problem is Cook and Flower's leadership of the team. If you look at the great teams of the past they very rarely play the brand of plodding defensive cricket that England have played and will continue to play under Cook/Flower. This whole KP thing is a smokescreen and now the shortcomings of the English management are being swept under the carpet.

Posted by cricketsubh on (January 10, 2014, 3:58 GMT)

WhensDrinks mate u can't judge a player on average Kp is a mordern great he is match winner I don't think as a player u need to avg 50 to call a a a great player .

Posted by cricketsubh on (January 10, 2014, 3:54 GMT)

1st think England lose ashes becoz they play badly not for kp .2nd think andy flower need to he dne a great god as a coach of englan under him england winning 3 ashes and t20 world cup every gud think. End s so flower need to go .i think england need luk at their future series they 7 test match at home summer comeing up with Sl and india touring i think they can win 7-0 play hard and win both series and no one remembers what happen in australia my 1st test team vs sl are 1. Cook(cap).2.rabinsom.3.root.4.kp.5.bell.6.stocks.7.prior(wk).8.penesar.9..broad.10.anderson..11.finn/onions.

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 3:45 GMT)

Yeah, sure. The batting was miserable throughout the series. So, go ahead and fire the guy who made the most runs in the series. Way to go. Absolutely ridiculous!!!

Posted by amitgarg78 on (January 10, 2014, 3:33 GMT)

It must be a great reflection on man management skills of Andy Flower if he can't cope up with the only "maverick" in the team. In Cricket, great teams have "happened" and no Coach / manager can claim success for them. WI/Aus were lucky to have had such a great collection of great players at the same time. Look at the results since losing the greats. Managers have been known to mess with the teams more often than take them towards success. So, as good as AF has been, I would say the people that take the field are the real deal and need to be handled properly and with respect. Give KP his due for contributing to the successes over years and let him prepare for the next game.

And, get a new man manager.

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

Pretty sad that many want to hump all of England's poor showing on KP..from my view he is one of the few bright spots on that team

Posted by pull_shot on (January 10, 2014, 3:05 GMT)

Irresponsible shots? That's d way to play d game but u guys want play like cook which is not his game, d thing is u should back him because if it click then he is genuine match winner but if doesn't click i will accept it looks bit ugly but these kind of players win u matches not players like cook as they can only play supporting rule, I can't believe England forget his match winning innings in India, though cook scored in India but it was KP innings changed test into England favor, its hard to accept that England accept his success only not support his failure

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (January 10, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

Any team - and its sum parts -that gets a shellacking is going to be under scrutiny and naturally the first places any supporter or journo looking to make a name for themselves will look is the coaching, captain and 'star' players. KP needs to be held accountable for publicly denigrating his teammates. Saying he had no faith in them to stick around is typical of his arrogance. Then his shot selection proved he couldn't either. As for Mickey Arthur, I think it is pretty obvious from the Aussie players demeanour and performance that Arthur's 'coaching credentials' were irrelevant to winning cricket. His clipboard style may be useful in developing raw talent at the college he's now at, or a cricket academy, but if he doesn't incorporate enjoyment then his 'credentials' are not only out dated, but poorly applied. It is obvious CA made a huge mistake with Arthur because his 'message' didn't translate to the top grade. England may very well find that Flower's message has run its course too

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

Professional players are paid to have a professional attitude. Everyone has to work with colleagues they befriend, they respect and they despise. If there is an issue then you sit down and air your problems. Then you get back to the job you are paid to do. Substantially well paid to do.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 10, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

After the sudden losses of Trott & Swann, England cant afford to lose any more experience. When the test team re-assembles in May for the Sri Lanka series, it should be something like 1 Cook 2 Root 3 Bell 4 KP 5 Ballance? 6 Stokes 7 Prior 8 Borthwick? 9 Broad 10 Anderson 11 Finn?. I would'nt mind Paul Collingwood being the coach too.

Posted by whensdrinks on (January 10, 2014, 2:07 GMT)

Don't think KP should shoulder the blame, there is plenty to go around.

But "one of the greatest batsmen of this generation" - give me a break. He might just make the top 10 but at the bottom of the list. Ponting, Clark, Sachin, Dravid, Amla, Kallis, Sanha, Jayawardena, AB, Chanderpaul, Smith are all better then him and they mostly average over 50 not 47.

Being a good English batsman doesnt make you great, certainly not generationally great!

Posted by   on (January 10, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

I'd make Pietersen captain and bring in a coach capable of working with him. Just put Cook back in the ranks and have Prior as vice captain. I think Alistair Cook is a great, great batsman. But, just like happened with Vaughan, captaincy is ruining his batting. I'd rather see him averaging 55 with the bat than averaging 42 as captain, which is likely to happen. They'll be occasional great knocks, but not many. Yes, he's young. Yes, he's been earmarked as captain for a long time, but that doesn't mean he's the right man. Pietersen is the kind of guy who would absolutely thrive on it. He'd probably average 60. The problem is, that these kind of changes go against the traditional English viewpoint. It's just "not" the way things are done in England cricket teams. If we want to be world beaters, though, we have to be a bit more radical.

Posted by Chomolungma on (January 10, 2014, 0:22 GMT)

It seems to be the same voices repeatedly praising Pietersen and claiming IPL success. The IPL is popular in India and so is Pietersen. Seems to me there's a ready made solution to the England dressing room problem right there.

Posted by RJHB on (January 10, 2014, 0:06 GMT)

I read and watch with glee and satisfaction! To all those pommy loudmouths who didn't believe the "what goes around comes around" line three years ago when England pulled the tour of tours out of their collective behind I say, go forth and multiply! Humility, which us Aussies displayed little of when we were on top, was also in very serious short supply with England and its fans. India similarly suffers from severe shortage at times. It only makes other countries cherish beating you even more! I can't wait til next summer, Australia are gonna dent some Indian helmets and bruise some overinflated Indian egos!

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 23:32 GMT)

Why this loss team like England making headlines always. We are fed up of seeing this Ashes agony. Give some priority for other matches. Cricket is not only about '' England ''.

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (January 9, 2014, 23:08 GMT)

Bizarre atmosphere in the English camp if indeed it is true. I don't think any other team in the world has as much in-house politics reported on as England. Why do they always run for the self-destruct button? Fact is, the team wasn't up to scratch. They all crumbled. Mentally they were not prepared for the intensity of the Ashes. In fact they lost the series before a ball had even been bowled. Gary Kirsten said that a lesser percentage of cricket has to do with actual talent - the biggest challenge is the frame of mind, the mental approach of the players. That's where England failed, and where they will continue to fail until they direct their efforts to winning as a team rather than blaming and politics.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 9, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

The ONLY reason I think WHY England want KP out is IF he gave out team secrets to the Aussies LOL. No seriously, you want to throw out the ONLY genuine match winner in your team ? God be with you.

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 9, 2014, 22:41 GMT)

Eng have just 3 proven test class batsmen available in Cook, Bell & KP, that's no position to even consider dropping the under-utilised KP. Of the 3 KP was alone in demonstrating he could eek out runs against Australia's meticulous planning & surgical execution. Sure he took those plans on unsuccessfully but that's what classy game changers do, Gilly would pull with 3 outfielders waiting, Punter would hook with 2 men out, Steve Waugh would pierce 2 gully's, the best batsmen back themselves & make bowlers and captains question & revise their plans, sure you look silly when it fails but you look silly defensively leaving balls to crash into your off stump too (Cook). Eng need real leadership to come from within the player group, to onlookers Cook is but a puppet, Flower's on field administrator if you like, seriously no wonder KP day dreams at fine leg until it's time for team KP to bat, as VC he may just help Cook grow a set.

Posted by Hiriamka on (January 9, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

Unless your captain is an exceptional leader, having a coach from your own country has some advantages. The coach should understand the provincial rivalries in the team and should also know the team's traditions and history and be able to draw on that to inspire and impassion players when necessary. Batting, bowling and fielding coaches can come from anywhere in the world. They are technical experts. However, your national coach needs to be able to get the players' heads in the right place to perform when needed and sometimes for a national team that can mean a call to "nationalism" to lift the group. Ranting about how it means something to wear the insignia of the national team is more convincing when the guy struggled to achieve it himself. England need some of their strong characters from recent times (who can tolerate and manage difficult ones) to get into coaching and aim up to becoming national coach, instead of going into the commentary business.

Posted by Kelum_w on (January 9, 2014, 22:25 GMT)

This is indeed very disappointing in the part of the ECB. Setting aside the egoistical claims and all, KP single handedly brought "Sexy Back" to English cricket. Before his entrance there was no charisma in English cricket, it was boring to watch and worse they were not producing results. The last great maverick in their hold was Sir Ian B and it had been nearly 2 decades since his best. In Ian Flemmings Live and Let Die there is a passage about how Eng who once commanded and conquered the world had lost it's face to lethargy and whining. And if you look at the last 60 years of English cricket every time a out of the box thinking flamboyant personality has come, the central bureaucratic administrative system has done their best to put a lid on it. It goes back to the days of Douglas Jardine whose tactical genius won them the Ashes and 60 odd years later, the biggest whiners of that strategy used it to great effect against Eng.

Posted by PACERONE on (January 9, 2014, 21:52 GMT)

This was a 5 match series,and the problems popped up in the first test,continued into the second and the great coach did nothing to rectify the problems.Five test and no improvement...how long will he need to get this team turned around.getting rid of KP is not going to help.Bell and other have shown their true colors.Not good against good tight bowling.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

Does anyone know exactly what KP is meant to have done to be such an undermining influence on this tour?

Posted by db_op on (January 9, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

Blame game, hum. Being realistic was the 3:0 during the English summer quite flattering for the English. Remember Botham's prediction of a 10:0 back-to back whitewash for the English? Frankly this was a disaster for the English to unfold. And the English willingly obliged. First test Trott went. Third test Swann went. How pathetic can you get? No will to fight. Don't blame KP, at least he tried. Blame the media (Botham's prediction, pressure on the team). But do accept that the England touring team was never even close to the task, retaining the Ashes that is. This was probably not predictable, but fair. And sorry, Barmy Army, your taunting was disgraceful, disgusting and in the end sad. Mitchell had the last laugh!!!

Posted by nlpdave on (January 9, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

KP as captain, Flower out. Could the result possibly be any worse?

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 20:18 GMT)

so there is still talk of opening with Sam Robson @Cubey, the bloke that wasn't (and isn't) good enough to play for NSW. Actually Robson would be lucky to make the NSW second XI after batsmen like Warner, Watson, Maddinson, Clarke, Smith, Henriques, Carters, Henry, Rohrer, Dan Hughes, Cruikshank et al and that doesn't include the ones who have moved interstate such as Phil Hughes, Silk, Khawaja, Forrest, Cowan, Wells etc. When is England going to start to look at their home-grown players?

Posted by oldAndWise on (January 9, 2014, 20:06 GMT)

I find it unbelievable that the poms want to bury the one real match winner in their team because he has an attitude. The attitude is what makes him what he is. He will have failures once in a while, but can you imagine how boring the lineup would be without KP? Flower seems to have a style similar to Mickey Arthur and we know what happened there.

And about KP playing IPL, what is wrong with that? The IPL is going to stay. Lot of people were praying and hoping that it will fail. But it did not. It will have challenges, but it will stay and will only grow. But I don't think that apart from KP, many English players stand a chance of making the first eleven on most teams. So may be there is some jealousy here towards KP too.

Posted by Herbet on (January 9, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

I don't know why anybody would blame Pietersen for the Ashes debacle in its entirety. So many things were done so wrong by so many people, you can't just point at him. Sure he looks like a man playing on his own alongside a team of 10, and the daft shots outweigh the big innings now, but he still scored the most runs. Of the established players, Bell, Cook, Swann and Prior were all worse, by a considerable margin. I'm not quite sure how Bell has escaped the crossfire so well, he's barely been mentioned. Flower, for me, wields far to much power. He deserves more blame than Pietersen for the mess. The squad chosen was downright bad, and the preparation far from ideal. I also don't like how many good young players have come in and either totally bombed (Kerrigan, Rankin, Taylor) or have declined alarmingly (Finn, Bairstow) during his tenure. Something in the team set up and coaching is very very wrong. Flower has to go for me, it's embarrassing that he he hasn't resigned.

Posted by Cubey on (January 9, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

SO DISAPPOINTED to hear of England's political malarky, especially against KP.

Do this England, or hand over management to Paul Collingwood:

Michael Vaughan, former England captain's choice for Sri Lanka:

1. Alastair Cook 2. Sam Robson 3. Ian Bell, 4. Kevin Pietersen 5. Joe Root 6. Ben Stokes 7. Matt Prior 8. Scott Borthwick 9. Stuart Broad 10. James Anderson 11. Tymal Mills/Jamie Overton

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

Some facts for those who credit Pietersen with making England a great team. From the beginning of 2004 to the 2005 Ashes England, without Pietersen, won 14 out of 18 Tests, with 1 defeat, winning 5 series in a row including a series win in South Africa. The following 50 Tests saw England win 15 and lose 17, winning 5 of the 14 series they played, only 1 away from home. During this period Pietersen scored 16 centuries and averaged 51, the highest of all of England's players. Flower had come in for the last of these series. The England then won 20 of the next 31 Tests, and 8 out of 9 series, taking them to number 1. During this period Pietersen's average dropped slightly to 49 and he only scored 3 centuries, 4th on the England averages and 5th highest century maker. Since then England have played 30 Tests, won 10 and lost 12 but somehow still taking 4 of the 9 series with 2 draws. Like every other England batsman in this period, Woakes aside, Pietersen has averaged under 40.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

KP is nothing more than a cricketing mercenary, that's all. He would never have gotten away with a quarter of his nonsense if he was playing for SA. He's South African - although he'd never admit it, he'd rather be playing for South Africa. And South Africans know how to deal with and manage South Africans. Playing for SA he would have batted at 6 or 7 as an impact player and he would have done well. PS: KP - one of the greatest batsmen of our generation? Are you kidding me? He's failed as many times as he has succeeded - very inconsistent. He can be exciting at times but very often looks like weak school-boy cricketer. Entertaining, yes. Great, not even close.

Posted by Chaffers on (January 9, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

I pay to watch KP, not Flower.

It is becoming quite plain that all was not right in the England dressing room. The way KP batted late in the tour was obviously down to Flower, yet despite reining in his instincts he top scored. Swann retiring mid tour must have been down to the atmosphere in the squad.

Blaming KP is puzzling, he might be a pain or a massive prat but he is KP, if other players are jealous then they have to get over it. Make him vice captain, include him and let him win matches. If Flower has a problem with him then get rid of Flower.

Posted by ReyanshRoy on (January 9, 2014, 18:18 GMT)

It is ludicrous to even think of not having KP in England's long term plans for at least Test matches. He is arguably England's finest Test batsman and to blame him for a 0-5 whitewash is hard to understand.It is the 11 players that make a team and not just one individual. KP needs to be understood and after his majestic hundred in Headingley against SA in 2012, he rightly expressed himself during the post match conference that it's hard being him.He has been England's biggest match winner over the last decade and it is a pity that English press keeps coming hard at one of the most destructive batsmen of recent times. Andy Flower needs to have a one-to-one discussion with KP to sort out all the issues amicably.Having KP in the Test side is extremely important if England are to stage a comeback and retain the Ashes in 2015, but for that KP needs to be understood and looked after well.

Posted by Hira1 on (January 9, 2014, 17:53 GMT)

What I dont understand that why its Flower and KP why not some one ask Cook what he wants? does he want KP in his team? is he happy with the way responsibilities being shared between him and Flower? is he O.K with the selection choices?. There is no way KP can be blamed for the loss as he was not the captain or the vice captain so he cannot infulence the team and if he is so powerful in a way that he can influence every individual behavior by his silent behavior than he should be the one managing and not others.

Posted by v_giri on (January 9, 2014, 17:47 GMT)

Now that Andy F and Cook's jobs are safe, they have to find a scapegoat for the debacle. The most important reason for Eng's win over India was KP. As an Indian I was looking forward to easy victory over Eng but Cook got KP in smartly (and history was made). Now Cook just does not have so much leverage and may allow KP to be the fall guy. Every team has a star who needs to be handled differently - Ask Dhoni he handled Fab 4 though he paid a price with Eng series. Kallis was handled as an exception by SA. If you apply same rules to KP as to newbies, Eng would be a poor (but a very disciplined) team and KP would live happily ever after with IPL. Andy must be judged by how he can handle different mindsets and get the best out of them - He can learn a few things from Gary Kirsten.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

It is beyond dispute that England were awful on this tour, and that their nucleus of senior players (with the at least arguable exception of Broad) played poorly. Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Anderson, Swann and Bresnan all (for various reasons) had poor tours. Broad at least bowled well, but some of his batting was "rabbit in headlights" stuff. There were also selection errors (taking Rankin, Finn and Tremlett and playing none of them at Perth was ludicrous, and Tremlett should never have gone), and where was Onions? More generally, why are none of the young fast bowlers advancing their case for selection? Most of them seem to go backwards faster than an Indian seamer in the IPL. Borthwick is a brave (ie not ready yet) choice as spinner. England now need to plot a route back, and (at least to the next world cup) that should involve KP. He may be difficult, but he is capable of playing great innings, and keeping spectators watching. Few others in this team can do that.

Posted by Pippy_the_dog on (January 9, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

We won't be sure about what has been going on behind the scene until the biographies come out. But looking from a distance, I'd have to say if a batsman of Pietersens class isn't integral to England's re-build, that has to be a failing on the part of the management. Good leadership involves getting the best out of individuals.

Posted by stevep83 on (January 9, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

KP actually played the 5 games and saw the tour through, unlike others who either bailed out or never played. For my money it is the selectors who got it more wrong than either KP or Flower. They had no grasp of form, fitness or psychological state of half the players they sent to Oz.

Posted by WC96QF on (January 9, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

If it boils down to a toss up between Flower and KP, I hv no doubt at all who shud go. KP is a once in a generation batsman for England. I am sure he stl has lots to offer English cricket. He can't be blamed for the Ashes loss, am sure ppl wl agree there was a lot more that was going wrong than just his batting. If team spirit was poor, if there was fatigue, if players cud not find the resilience to absorb a few losses and come back to play at their best, it's seems to me a comprehensive failure of the coaching and support staff. Flower is the chief goombah of that tribe- he shud go !

Posted by rizwan1981 on (January 9, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

KP is the best batter in the team - sure he is no angel but when the team needs him, more often than not , he delivers.KP has played far more MATCH WINNING knocks than SACHIN TENDULKAR.

When Shane Warne was insulting his coach with the dig that a coach is needed only to transport players,the powers that be ignored the barbed comments because Warnie was a match winner.Sure , KP is a show pony , the ECB should cut him some slack to get the best out of him until at least the next Ashes

Posted by London_Eye on (January 9, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

@ Yorkshire-Pudin ! I gues, U need another rice pudin now ... lol ... Yes ! Simon Jones and sum other players lik Flintof, M. Waughn, Harmison, Bell etc can tak > sum Credit 4 Eng victoriz Bt it was KP, who change the ''Environment of Eng Cric Dresin room & the Mentality of Eng players'' ... B4 KP !! Eng team has ''Loosing Mentality'' .:. So, KP is the Only player >> Who can Proudly tak >> Most of the Credit of Eng Victoriz frm 2005 till 2012 ... B realistic plz ...

@ Bob-Martin ! Read the coment of LIZ1558 ... Thx

Posted by salazar555 on (January 9, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

If Cook and Flower think England will be a better team without him then drop him, If they think he is disruptive then drop him. He's not played that well for a while. On his day, he's great but he has less and less of those days lately.

Personally, I like KP, I like the way he plays but the team comes first and it always will

Posted by SevereCritic on (January 9, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

I like Flower's job. When England wins something, then take credit for the victory and talk about great team management. And when England loses, blame it all on KP. It is a win-win situation for Andy Flower.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

If Andy Flower cracked a smile once in a while it might ease the locker room tension. If he dropped the headmaster act that might help. England lost the Ashes because of 11 players, not because of Pietersen's behaviour/performance. You can't make this stuff up. If for example he is the sole reason for England losing the Ashes what does that tell you about the gutless and cowardly 10 other players who are totally dependent on Pietersen to perform for them to have any chance of competing in a test.

Posted by liz1558 on (January 9, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

@bobmartin - if your argument is that KP came to this country and should show respect, isn't it the same case for Flower, who made the same journey?

Posted by dabbadubba on (January 9, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

Its easy to get a cricket coach.. they are dime a dozen.. but players like KP.. are once a generation one for teams like england.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 9, 2014, 15:16 GMT)

All those supporting Pietersen seem to be stating that the England management should have made more effort to come to terms with the sort of person he is... They should perhaps remember that it works both ways... Pietersen came to this country to play cricket for England... That was his choice.. Therefore it's he who should be making the effort to fit in... not the others around him. I think the England management have bent over backwards to accommodate him... and he has not really even tried to meet them halfway... He's a maverick and always will be and the sooner England sideline him, the quicker and easier the recovery will be.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (January 9, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

It is the most amazingly sad and stupid thing to lay any blame at 1 persons' feet for a total 5 test fiasco. Who was not to blame? Only Stokes, Broad and Finn. KP just happens to be larger than life. That is him. He has a fairly ready grin and I could be forgiven for thinking he was in trouble because he was caught smiling. Gooch and Flower smile about as often as an East Enders character. Mark Butcher reveaied something on the'Verdict' which was about the help KP gives to youngsters. I think Flower is like one of those school teachers who victimise a particular kid over years and then one finds out the teacher sees himself in the kid, and all he is doing is trying to punish himself for what he did not do. I call it victimisation because it is. Without KP we would be an appalling side! Number 7 in the rankings would be ours. 8 even.And we would deserve it. Blame the micromanagement team. Lehmann treats his players like they are. Aussie hardwiring! He knows them.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 9, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

So after overseeing the most shambolic tour I can remember, complete with mid-tour retirements, bizarre selections and collapsing team morale, the coach demands yet more power and scapegoats the top-scoring batsman! You couldn't make it up.

It wasn't so long ago that KP was playing an incredible innings in India to help turn that tour around, surely every team has room for one flair batsman like that. Noone wants to see a team comprised only of Cook/Trott types.

Posted by thejesusofcool on (January 9, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

Who had more responsibility for squad selection? Who had most call on why Trott was on the tour given his condition/problems? Who had most call on why Bresnan was on the tour when he was never going to be fit & ready for Brisbane? Who had most influence on taking a punt on Tremlett, given the steady dobber that was on view in the CC after his injury recovery? Who is so into micro-management and cookbooks he forgot to look at what happened in 2006/7 with Trescothick & others & if he had done so, would've realised the same scenario beckoned again?

Answer that little lot & you know where the blame goes first out of those two.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 9, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@London_Eye, that is not necessarily true, the bowlers are the ones that did the damage, led by Simon Jones who did most of the damage and KP really only contributed at the Oval (thanks to a massive drop by Warne), lets not forget that he actaully shelled several easy chances during the series as well.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 9, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

With Swann goine, Trott most likely and if KP too goes, the English cricket will have to start from scratch. That is a tough ask for both Cook and Flower although not such a bad thing. Who will replace them is the big question!

Posted by class9ryan on (January 9, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

KP is more valuable to England than what Flower is. No doubts that Andy Flower has done well for England but I think he needs change in tactics and moreover create a formula by which positiveness enters the dressing room. This is not a bad English team but at the moment looks mentally not assured of anything.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

I thought cricket was a team sport, not sure how one player and that too a non-captain can be blamed for the loss. This looks like a finger pointing exercise. Captain and coach and the whole ECB should be blamed for creating an atmosphere like this..

Posted by CoverDrive88 on (January 9, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

Pietersen has never been a person or player I particularly liked, but based on all I've seen, if there has to be a choice, Flower should go. Even if it doesn't come to that, I lean towards Flower going anyway. Australia really struggled with Arthur's style, and it looks like Flower's is pretty similar and starting to take a toll on England.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 13:47 GMT)

Why is every failure blamed on pietersen when clearly he is the guy performing

Posted by London_Eye on (January 9, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

Gyz ! Its my 1st coment on Cric-Info > 2 b honest, If KP wasn't in the Eng team of 2005. I m prety sure that Eng would stil b lookin 4 their 1st Ashes win against Aus frm 30 odd yrs. Credit goz 2 KP, who hv gvn the Bliv 2 rest of the Eng squad that they can win Ashes & also against other countries. Its a bigest reality of English Cricket. KP has got the X-Factor or Aus- Factor of Australian-Gr8's of 90's and 2k's. No doubt ! He is the ''bst Eng player of all tym''. Once, KP vil retire OR Vanish frm Eng team ... Eng Cric Team vil b-com a >> 6th or 7th rank team of the World within the space of feu months ..... [Un+4-Tunatly]

Posted by LazyBones... on (January 9, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

Personally I'll be disappointed if Pietersen gets the boot. Cricket, like any other sport, is an entertainment business and England, generally, are a rather dull side. Pietersen is the exception. Whenever he walks to the crease, every pair of eyes is on him. All these ex-players only ever speak on this issue from a winning and losing standpoint. There is more to sport than that.

However I am still not sure he is "one of the greatest batsmen of this generation". One of the most gifted and flamboyant, yes, but great players average a lot more than 47, especially if they have been part of a successful side (recent Ashes not withstanding).

Posted by liz1558 on (January 9, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

If it is true that Flower has made an ultimatum about the future of KP, then it's a simple solution: KP is more valuable than Flower at present. The coach has to take the flak for a side on the slide for the last two years, and the flat, conservative 2-an-over dull cricket that they now play. This is completely against the nature of players like KP, Bell, Prior and Root - naturally aggressive stroke-makers. Fine, while England got the results, Flower's methods were acceptable. But now they are palpably not working, it has to be time for a change. KP may be 33 and have one eye on retirement, but he definitely has much more rope than Flower.

Posted by Rajeshj on (January 9, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

Surprising to see how myopic the coach and the media gets after one bad tour.. Right from day 1 of the Ashes, the England team lacked the vibrancy as in the previous Ashes series.. I think it was Flower who took the wrong call by pushing out Nick Compton, who was quite solid than any other recent opening batsmen from England.. Here was a guy, who had every merit to play in that Ashes and was needlessly sacked.. And when you start compromising on merits, the team value deteriorates.. Bresnan's inclusions in spite of mediocre performances was baffling.. many such dubious calls have been taken by Flower, which slowly paved way for the team's downfall.. In spite of all these, KP gets blamed for the loss... Quite unbelievable because he was better than other batsmen and the only one who seemed determined to fight it out.. Without KP, Flower could have never dreamed of beating India in 2012.. and many such series wins too.. Truly disgusting to see a real legend to be treated like this..

Posted by TheRedLeb on (January 9, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

Blaming KP to use the old cliché "is treating the symptoms not the cause" ... England rather need to look at how they have lost that sense of one they are now a collection of individuals rather than a team (as Aus were in India as you allude to). All you have throughout this series is playing doing what is best for them with no consideration of what is best for the team ... Trott leaving personal reasons, Swann retiring mid -series KP's batting is an extension of that.

The greatest thing Lehman has done is provide an environment and atmosphere that has enabled Clarke to win over the dressing room and everyone has bought into the blueprint and is pulling in same direction.

Whether Cook is the man to lead this team and get them behind him remains to be seen, the whole series on the field he and Eng have lacked direction or urgency and have let things happen rather than make them happen if his attitude is the same behind the scenes then im not surprised they fragmented

Posted by Narkovian on (January 9, 2014, 12:57 GMT)

Would be interesting to know what odds you could get for either KP or Flower or both not being in office come the start of the England Test Summer 2014. Would not bet my house on either of them still being there to be honest. Some lurid headlines await us, I am sure !

Posted by 200ondebut on (January 9, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

As someone said on the TV this morning - they are all grown men and should be able to sort it out. More so they should all take a step back and have a hard long look at their purpose - what they are all about.

At the end of the day the ECB are in the entertainment business. The sole purpose of their existence is to make cricket fun and enjoyable to watch. If they do that more people will visit the grounds, more people will watch on TV and more money comes into the ECB coffers which they can then re-invest back into the game.

Winning is part of this - but so is providing entertaining cricket to watch. KP is a proven entertainer who has given England fans a huge amount of enjoyment right from his first test match.

So with this in mind - if it comes down to a choice - do you go with the entertainer or the coach? I'd rather watch KP bat than Flower coach.

I have no doubt of his passions to play for England - if he is left out the impact will be greater on England than on him.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 9, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

The KP boil needs to be lanced sooner rather than later if England are to avoid another pummeling

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 9, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

The English selectors need to alter their selection criteria to choose players with more G and D and more team spirit. KP has neither. He should be dropped.

He should never haven been let back into the team after the Strauss debacle. The selectors sent the wrong message to the other English players. The result? 5-zip

Posted by creebo777 on (January 9, 2014, 12:27 GMT)

if they drop kp surely they should drop bell too,senior batsmen better batters from england and both had a poor series,cook being defensive as a player is stupid i prefer him like that

Posted by MarkTaffin on (January 9, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

KP is one player. Might not be the nicest guy in the world (I suspect one or two might find Flower and Gooch hard to like). But he did not lose the Ashes on their own.

That was due to the entire squad (with the notable exception of Stokesy and, for one performance only, Broad) who were all dreadful And yet stand a very good chance of being selected again this summer!!!!!!!!????????

That squad was selected by, and micromanaged by, Flower...

Posted by AshesErnie on (January 9, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

Can't agree with your last sentence. KP has been the root cause of most of England's problems for far too long. His overdue departure, like the removal of cancer, will relieve many of the symptoms and bring a refreshed atmosphere to the England travelling circus. Everyone else will relax, cliques will vanish, Flower may even start to speak freely instead of employing his micro-management gobbledygook. As for KP's batting, it has caused at least as many problems as it has solved, his irresponsible dismissals considerably outnumbering his match winning innings. Let him go to the IPL, but please don't allow him back.

Posted by Biggus on (January 9, 2014, 11:32 GMT)

A somewhat perfunctory effort at looking at both sides before we cut to the chase. I'm on neither side of the Flower/Pietersen furore. As it so happens, as an Australian, I'm in agreement with what I think the point of the article is, that you don't give a coach who's just overseen a 5-0 thrashing total control over all aspects of running the team, especially when there are signs the players are already chafing under his rule. A demand like that just sets off a number of alarm bells.I'm no psychologist, but I'd suggest things like falling dress standards and not complying with directives vis-a-vis team meetings are quite likely to be a form of passive resistance.They need a work partner, not a nanny. Flower is starting to sound like a tyrant.

Posted by Wafer on (January 9, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

Some of this seems ironic considering the column inches spent on cricinfo discussing both KP and Flower... Are element of media and journalism not at least partly responsible for this drama?

For what it's worth, we'd all be a lot better off if not only KP calmed it down on twitter but if Vaughan spent less time trying to be outspoken and if Piers Morgan stop communicating full stop.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 9, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Andy Flower himself has said that all the criticism of the tour's failure is justified. He has not shirked from accepting the major part of the blame. And, funny thing, I take him at his word. If there is a hierachy - and there most certainly is in the England set up - then everyone knows where the buck stops. The batting has correctly been identified as the major cause of the string of abject failures and someone who's straight out of the Andy Flower school of micromanagment - namely Graham Gooch, was running that particular show. He did not do a good job, because England's batting line up demonstrated that it's incapable of getting anywhere near 400 and has not done so for a good while, long before this tour began. What does that tell us? Something's broken. Now either Gooch should go, or Flower. Or both. Thank you both for all your efforts, but it's time - high time - to move on. When is England going to grasp these tall nettles? No other solution makes sense.

Posted by JayPeg on (January 9, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Amazing how it's always KPs fault when things go bad. English cricket has never deserved this guy. Frankly anyone who is a good man manager should have by now figured out what it takes to manage the guy. But alas it seems not.

England cricket now deserves an era without KP so it can get over the perennial excuse that he allows for others mediocrity. Trott going home and Swann quitting before the end I suppose are also KPs fault.

This all says much more about the English mindset than anything else.

Posted by DessiJatt on (January 9, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

KP is a great player.He should not be dropped.If anyone needs to be sacked it is andy flower and cook should be displaced from captaincy.IMO bell would be much better.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

Excellent appraisal of the situation. But while no man can be bigger than the team, it seems Andy Flower can be bigger than English cricket. Both situations need to be addressed.

Posted by DessiJatt on (January 9, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

KP is a great player........he should not be dropped.If anyone needs to be blame it is andy flower and cook(he is too defensive a player and a captain).

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days