India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 3rd day

Doubts bring out the best in Pietersen

When others experience problems and he finds a point to prove, Kevin Pietersen flourishes

George Dobell in Mumbai

November 25, 2012

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen celebrates his hundred, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day, November 25, 2012
Kevin Pietersen is a talent to savour for anyone of any nation © BCCI

There may have been more reliable batsmen, there may have been more responsible batsmen and there may have been more consistent batsmen. But there have been very few batsmen to have been so destructive, so often, as Kevin Pietersen.

Certainly it is hard to think of another England batsman of recent vintage who could have played the innings Pietersen played. On a pitch offering substantial assistance to the spinners and on which other batsmen have struggled for fluency, Pietersen created the illusion that he was operating on a batting paradise. Only when others, some of whom are considered experts in such conditions, prodded and struggled were the true nature of the conditions exposed.

This was an innings that many thought could never be played. When Pietersen was dropped from the England team in August, bridges were smouldering and, so deep were the divisions between him and his colleagues, that it looked for a while that there could be no return. It is surely for the best that a rapprochement was achieved. At a time when Test cricket is fighting for relevance and room, talents like Pietersen are to be savoured by anyone from any nation. His return is an asset not just to England, but to the game. Players like this do not come around very often.

Pietersen is often at his best with a point to prove. It was after a poor tour of the UAE earlier this year that he produced the innings of 151 in Colombo; as the chasm between him and his teammates grew that he produced the innings of 149 in Leeds and as he sought to restate his worth after "reintegration" that he produced this innings. Most players are at their best when they feel comfortable; Pietersen is at his best when he feels doubted.

Each great innings has been produced as his colleagues have struggled. Here, apart from the excellent Alastair Cook, no other England batsman could manage more than 29. At Leeds, Matt Prior, with 68, was the only other man to get out of the 30s and, even in Colombo, where England started well, Pietersen's departure saw England lose their last five wickets for 49 runs. He has produced three match-shaping centuries in his last eight Tests. No-one in the world has scored more runs in first-class cricket this year, either. He is a great batsman at the peak of his powers. His worth to the team is immense.

We should not be surprised. After all, before Pietersen, England had never won a global trophy. Before Pietersen, England had not won the Ashes in nearly two decades. Before Pietersen, England could barely dream of reaching No.1 in the ODI, Test or T20 rankings. It is largely through him that all those hurdles were cleared. He was, remember, the man of the tournament when England won the World T20 in the Caribbean in 2010 and it was his century at The Oval that clinched the 2005 Ashes.

It was masterful innings containing a medley of Pietersen's greatest hits. But what made it all possible was the fact that he was prepared to wait for the opportunity to play them.

Yet, despite it all, some will never take to Pietersen. They doubt his motives, his commitment and his loyalty. It is a state of affairs that perhaps says more about the doubters than the doubted. Pietersen, like everyone else who has ever played the game, will be a mixture of virtue and vice and it is often unwise to judge a sportsman on anything other than their performance. Whatever Pietersen's qualities off the pitch - and the truth is that most with an opinion are basing it on presumption rather than evidence - as a batsman it is hard to dispute his greatness.

His technique may, at times, look idiosyncratic, but there is thought and logic behind it. At his best, his eyes, his hands and his feet work in harmony consistent with most great players. It is just that, such is Pietersen's reach, his strength and his range of stroke, that he has more options than most. There will be occasions when he over-reaches or when his ego - so often a power of good in his batting - seduces him into danger. But that's the price you pay for the wild genius. Viv Richards was not so different.

So dominant was Pietersen in the opening session of the third day that he took a game in the balance and stole the initiative for England. He read R Ashwin's variation and, having done so, was confident enough to use his feet to hit the ball into the gaps and produced strong evidence to scotch the theory that he struggles against left-arm spin: at one staging thrashing Pragyan Ojha for two fours and three sixes in a 17-ball spell.

It was masterful stuff containing a medley of Pietersen's greatest hits: the slog-sweep, the reverse sweep, the scoop, the cover drive, the cut and the lofted drive. But what made it all possible was the fact that he was prepared to wait for the opportunity to play them. There was none of the premeditation we saw in Ahmedabad, as Pietersen demonstrated the patience and the technique to block the good balls and wait for the bad ones. And when you have the arsenal of scoring options of Pietersen, you never have to wait too long.

Cook is a different creature but must also be defined as great. Like Pietersen, Cook now has 22 Test centuries - no England player has scored more - and both should have plenty to come. Critics often judge a player's merit or talent not on effectiveness, but on aesthetics. While it is true that Cook may not time the ball with the sweetness of Ian Bell, the more apt criteria for judgement should be who you would rather bat in your team. Cook, by such a benchmark, scores well. His mental strength and determination may not create the pleasing elegance of Bell, but they will win more matches.

The excellence of Pietersen and Cook helped England to a first innings lead of 86 and, just as relevant in the long-term, a score of 400 for two innings in succession. On surfaces designed to exploit their weaknesses, that is an encouraging statistic.

It may be mis-leading, however. Cook and Pietersen apart, England's batsmen continued to struggle against spin. Jonny Bairstow showed some understandable naivety in playing across the left-arm spinner and Samit Patel has yet to justify his reputation against spin. England still look overly reliant for their runs on a couple of individuals.

The success of their spinners was a major boost, though. To lose the toss on a wicket tailor-made for the opposition and beat them at their own game would be a remarkable achievement. It may also provide India with some food for thought going into the rest of the series.

But let us not get ahead of ourselves. Bearing in mind England's struggles against spin this year, and the ghost of Abu Dhabi hanging over them, a target of as little as 120 may still provoke discomfort. This beguiling game may offer us another twist or two yet.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 27, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

@electric_loco_WAP4 (post on November 27 2012, 14:46 PM GMT); you're seriously comparing an all-rounder with a test batting average less than 40, with a prolific batsman averaging almost 50? Funny how the pitch wasn't so flat when India batted second innings eh! What heavy loss did you have in mind? Have you heard of Cook, Panesar, Swann at all? They've not been doing too badly for England lately...

Posted by Akshita29 on (November 27, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@Electric _LOCO_WAP4 You must be joking . A dead flat pitch you said. Did you watch the match? This is the same ground where Australia could not chase a 100 runs with all the greats like Hayden and Gilchrist and this pitch was a minefield and if u dont believe me you should have listen to Warne orDravid speaking about the pitch . The ball was turning square from left to right and right to left . dönt you know what is a rank turner ? Thats what it was . Plz don't make comments without knowing anything about conditions . I guess you have zero knowledge about different cricketing conditions.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (November 27, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Can't deny K Pieterson a good knock though a dead flat pitch and listless bowling by Ind .Also no real pace to hurry the batsmen with all spinners- Zaheer Khan 125k med pacers is no good anymore at this level- and absence of the only decent Ind quick Yadav played in Eng's hands. A bit like Watson is Pieterson with the shots and fast scoring- though he is no match for the raw natural talent of Watto who unlucky to be injured would have had a prolific scoring series vs SA with some big tons of his own. Pieterson can be classed a 'poor man's Shane Watson' but he is Eng's best no doubt . Problem for Eng is the rest are very poor and the reason for the heavy loss by Eng for a long period now.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 27, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Hi KP, if you are reading this - thanks for the tweet in Hindi. Don't know why, but Indians love KP a lot. He is our adopted son. I think the crowd fed his ego and we all know KP feeds off the crowd's energy. I think the crowd needs to stop applauding KP. He will hurt us even more if we start appreciating him. But we just can't stop applauding him, though we know the consequences. Somehow, not for a minute did I want KP to get dismissed though he was hurting us really bad. Hearty congratulations KP - from an Indian fan. Your reintegration is complete bro. The elementary thing about batting in sub-continent - trust your defence. You got it right Champ this time, right on the money. Can't appreciate enough, your brutal onslaught! A timeless masterpiece to boot!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

India needs to go back to the drawing board as to how to play world class spin attack.I think is necessary to play batsmen on current form.Sorry , Ten dulkar and Shewag.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 26, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

I'd put my house on him not getting runs in the next match. Cook on the other hand is scoring at will and will continue to do so. He will need to find another partner next time. Compton is due a half century at least. Can Trott find some form? Or Bairstow, Bell or Patel or whoever plays in the middle order? Or will it come down to Prior again to help the captain get England out of another hole?

Posted by A.Ak on (November 26, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

KP is on of the best in subcontinent conditions. That is why ECB always kept doubting Pietersen, to bring best out of him. Great strategy. Poor Monty, he will be out of the team again in the next series.

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

No wonder English and Cook 'BEGGED' KP to ignore IPL and focus on England!! Else imagine what would have transpired in Mumbai, but for KP this match was over and that the winning team would have been different despite thier bowling shortcomings.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

@Sanjivan. One big innings in three is superb, compared to one in ten, or even more. Sehwag is the best example of the latter. Since he had an exhilarating century in the 1st test, that he will use to ride for the next ten innings, to ward of criticisms and keep the call for his omission by the selectors, at bay. The tragic part is that the selectors buy that bait, and swallow the hook, string, the rod and the guy at the end of the rod, blindly and with relish. And , the show goes on...

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 26, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@Jonathan Lane - whilst I agree, there are many others who have contributed to Englands successes over the past few years, I think that KP brought a distinct change in attitude with him; a confidence which seems to have rubbed off on some of the other players, and we all know how important a mind-set is in cricket. I don't agree with the author that we are relying too much on runs from Cook & KP only. Sure, they are the ones with the big scores this series, but Compton has done well for a newbie and I think we can expect more from him. Prior too has looked good so far this tour. Trott is a worry, but I would still back him to come through this lean patch.

Posted by armchairjohnny on (November 26, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

HumungousFungus said it well. The passivity of the Indian bowlers notwithstanding, this innings was a masterclass in application -- a special innings (which for those who label KP as an IPL thrash-about should dispel whatever doubts people had about his ability to adapt to different formats and circumstances under huge pressure). I believe this performance will rightly be regarded as a classic innings in years to come. Regardless of what people may think of KPs personality, his batting prowess is undeniable. I would even go as far as to say that KPs presence will be difference between England winning this series or not.

Posted by HumungousFungus on (November 26, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

KP's innings deserves all of the plaudits bestowed upon it. For all of the magnificent efforts of Cook and Pujara, each of whom, in their own way, played innings of similar greatness in this Test, Pietersen transcended both of them by moving beyond the twin goals of survival and accumulation, and, instead, looking to dominate on a pitch where, at any minute, the unplayable delivery was just around the corner(16 of the 30 dismissed batsman in this match scored fewer than 10 runs, lest we forget). That he was able to succeed, with the odds stacked against him, is testament to both his character and his ability. It also needs to be noted that India's bowlers and fielders faded badly in the face of this assault, and Dhoni's captaincy was woefully passive. For all England's recent failings against spin, India have nobody in the class of Ajmal, Rehman, or Herath to throw at them, and, given that England have now passed 400 in consecutive innings, I wonder if the balance of power is shifting?

Posted by Sanjiyan on (November 26, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

@Aaron Fuller, i think every captain in the world would take a batsman who goes big once every 3 innings. Even if he fails twice. Im no england fan, but my gosh these guys put in a fantastic performance. Well done. And special congrats to Monty for completely befuddling the Indian batsmen.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Well played Pietersen, his time playing in the IPL is paying off for England.

Posted by anver777 on (November 26, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

KP "The Master of Modern Cricket" is certainly the best in pressure conditions !!!!!

Posted by dhakalsindhu on (November 26, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

When its your "Day", you are awesome. But the point with KP is, the "Day" does not come, he brings it when it matters most.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 26, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Without Monty ENgalnd would be losing. PERIOD. Monty got sehwag twice . That is what make england win this TEST. I am no fan of monty fielding but he is as perfect spinner as anybody in the world on this pitch. He beat indian spinners by miles!. Please give credit where its due. KP batting was ok nothing spectacular...bad captaincy and bad bowling by indian spinners...Same pitch with monty bowling its unplayable.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 26, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

KP and Cook were brilliant against Indian spin attack. Compared to KP, our 10dulkar looks like a schoolboy. Sehwag is a flat track bully who can't play spin or swing.

Posted by peter56 on (November 26, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

George Dobell is at it again, lazy journalism trying to compare Kp to Viv Richards.Viv played in an era when the ball dominated the bat,he was way ahead of his contemporaries with a strike rate of over 68.KP plays in the era when the bat completely dominates the ball and yet he can only average 49 with a strike rate of 63 he is not even the most dominating player of the current crop thats Sehwag who has a strike rate of 82. he is not even the best batsman under 35 that honour belongs to Michael Clarke.Also Viv had no helmet,no computer analysis to enable him to iron out quickly any kink that may creep into his technique,primitive bats( by way of comparison with todays) and bigger boundaries.viv was the undisputed king of his era KP didnt even get a mention among 15 names as the best bat of the last 30 years conducted by cricket australia result 1.Tendulkar 2. Lara 3 Ponting 4 Viv 5 Greg chappell

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (November 26, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

I guess KP will be worth 4 million next IPL contract...mission accomplished! Next big inning from him will probably come in Ashes 2013

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

Yes it was a great innings from KP, but this article is sycophantic. KP owed England a decent score after gifting his wicket TWICE in the last test. Unfortunately he squanders his talent too often with ill-conceived premeditated shots. It is ridiculous to attribute England's successes over the last 8 years to KP's presence. What about the crucial runs scored by Cook, Strauss Trott, Prior during that period, or the bags of wickets from Anderson and Swan. This is a team game, and 20 wickets win test matches. For every 100 KP scored, Cook scored one that usually mattered much more in terms of the match. Sure KP's 100's are wonderful to watch and rightly praised, but he recently learned that he is not God but merely a seriously flawed genius, a lesson that his fawning disciples should take on board too.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

I agree with the thrust of this article, but I think it's more than a 'theory' that KP has a struggle with left-arm spin. To me, the stats say he definitely does have a problem, the question is whether (or perhaps how often) he'll be able to overcome it. Geoff Boycott, in a recent TMS, said that once KP gets in against left-arm spin he's OK; his problem is more starting against it. I haven't seen much 'ball by ball' coverage of this series so I don't know whether that's true but KP's recent innings does suggest it might be. So, on a 'fail twice, succeed once' basis, should England keep KP in the stable?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 25, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

Have to say it was an amazing innings especially when considering how bad he looked last week but I have to agree with @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 25 2012, 18:09 PM GMT) . Monty came into the side and made a huge difference in both innings. We all know what happened in the 1st game when Swann was our only bowler who showed any threat and how our batsmen inc KP coped with the 500+ score ahead of them. With Swann again being the only other menacing bowler on our side , the likelihood is that without Monty we'd be chasing a similar total in our 1st inns in this match. I'm not saying we wouldn't have done better this time around but we certainly wouldn't be in as strong a position without Monty's bowling but as my friend intimates it seems fashionable to big up KP's better performances and magnify Monty's failings.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 25, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

One of the great aspects of our sport is the manner in which a man's state of mind is implicit in his play. Because Test cricket is a team game in which each individual is spotlighted in turn for protracted periods, whether he bowls or bats, we have the chance to study the man, his play & thereby his state of mind. As practised watchers of cricket today we had the immense privilege of watching KP reveal his brilliance of strokeplay over a sustained period, rolling out a repertoire of strokes of awesome power & occasionally of extraordinary inventiveness, but overall there was the sense of the man's character, of a man proving his point & underlining it in red ink. And this is how I read this signature innings: I've done things in the past which I am now erasing. This innings is my way of showing my response; it is an erasure & a recommitment. I am still me & I am here, doing what I do best & doing it with renewed discipline, because this is what you want & I want. We're back together.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 25, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

@Baundele on (November 25 2012, 14:57 PM GMT) Actually mate you are dead right. Monty will be sidelined after this is all over. Every England fan know it. @ jb633 I'm with you except here in Nairobi I did not have to get up at 4.00am!!! I thought Pietersen was finished and I said so here on cricinfo. SO Now I am publically eating my word!!!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

kaaaay peeeeeeeee u beauty .. as an indian i just luv to c him bat against any team ..the way he dominates every bowler damn i just wish he was playing for india.. no worries coz u play most of the games in IPL ..we r just lucky for that ..thanx IPL

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 25, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

There were some who in recent history who did not want KP anywhere near the England side.....there are others who want all England players to be born in England.( does this mean no welsh, Scots or Irish?)...and they weren't all on Live at the Apollo!!! Staggering,seriously amazing. Therapy offered. Apply here. Only KP could have played that-or Viv or Beefy. I never saw the great Wally but I am certain I would have loved. So here we are about to go 1-1, not 2 down. They ask on TV which of his innings is the best. They seem to build on one another, like the continuation of a story, or as part of a mathematical sequence or series. Extraordinary batting from an extraordinary batsmen.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 25, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Pietersen scores one century which is what he was kept in the team for, and he is once again given the limelight. Conversely, magic Monty has bowled beautifully and has brought England to the verge of victory, and you write a scathing report on his poor fielding and ineptitude with the bat. I've said it before, and I'll keep writing it: you need 20 wickets to win a test match! Without Monty in the team in Indian conditions, a whitewash was inevitable. Bowlers that take 5 wickets or more (quite consistently might I add) will always be the true heroes of test cricket. Great play by Cook and Pietersen yes, but why the contrasting reports?

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 25, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

Like you George I was an unabashed critic of the Peitersengate saga. Although not being a fan of KP the man I always knew that KP the cricketer was a class act! How refreshing it is to see KP reward us with such an innings and how appropriate that Alastair Cook was there and enjoyed personal satisfaction and success. It is my understanding that in the midst of the farce (KPgate) the England captain was all for reinstating Pietersen's selection. Bravo! to Alastair Cook and let's hope that this classic innings results in an England victory? All square with 2 to play and a toss or two to win, a rattled opposition with fickle fans calling for heads to roll..... I can't wait! Perversely an England series win might be the wake up call that Indian cricket needs? A billion fans deserve more and revolution must be near! RIP India.... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

Awesome innings by one of the true modern greats. I am extremely pleased to see him back in the England fold, for both the benefit of England and Test cricket as a whole. Without KP, the game is not the same.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (November 25, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

Anyone who saw that amazing KP Innings at the Oval in 2005 will remember it forever. It was, quite simply one of the greatest test Innings of all time. He flogged Warne - who was at the height of his power (with 12 wicket in that match alone), McGrath and Lee to all part. In Colombo the Sri Lankan had no answer. Here in Bombay India have no answer either. This 180 will mean a lot to Pietersen and to the team. It is very important to understand that part of the debt he owe England cricket he has paid back today - his team mate, the management, the Captain and most all the fan like us. This is not the greatest Innings KP has ever played afterall it is only against India in India. There will be greater thing to come when we thrash the Australian home and away again next year....

Posted by jb633 on (November 25, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

I must admit I am no fan of KP the person but juding purely on cricketing terms I think he is the best player to watch in world cricket. I would put him and Gayle in the same bracket as the true entertainers. I would say there are better players in the world Amla, Clarke, Chanerpaul, Kallis and Sanga because they are more consistent but none of the players above would make you get up to watch them bat at 4 am. That is a testament to how good this guy is to watch. You pull your hair out when he is dismissed only because you know you have missed out on the entertainment.

Posted by Trickstar on (November 25, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

Great article George, nothing more to say.

Posted by Paulk on (November 25, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

God article. That was indeed one heck of an innings from KP. Reminds me of one-man shows by a certain Brian Lara.

Posted by rocket123 on (November 25, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

For COOK: "THE WALL" this time though England has it.

For KP: "SUPERB, SUBLIME and AESTHETICALLY DESTRUCTIVE" Just like the Great Viv Richards.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Yes, Pietersen is a great and must be persevered with. His technique is his own and one shouldnt be finding faults with it. You can look that he is 6'4". So his technique would be a touch different to our eyes than Sachin's who is more like 5'4". Aeshetically maybe not as pleasing ut boy has he got some reach. And he cant have flaws lest he couldnt have made runs all round the globe. Also, it is about the concern a player creates in the opposition party. Do you understand how bewildered India's dressing room would be thinking of what he can do in the series to come, not to mention what he already did. Despite Cook's double, I can take a reasonable bet that they would be more wary of Pietersen generally. And that is a captain's asset any day my dear friend.

Posted by getsetgopk on (November 25, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

George Dobell's articles are a treat to read, this one is no exception either. But, one thing I wouldn't want KP to be doing around and it is keep an uneasy relationship with his team mates, as it can potentially disrupt a team. Dobell and I have the luxury of watching cricket from a distance but its the other ten persons in the team who have to deal with whatever trivial or not problems KP might cause, watching a sportsman from a distance and evaluating his skills as a cricketer are one thing but but actually working with him is quite another. Some people have thicker skins but some dont, its a fact too, if you are asking the others to deal with KP no matter what then the same should apply to the others. Everything should have a limit, if swann or borad or prior have issues with KP then what, throw them all out, but that wont do either. KP should be coached to keep his attitude to a limit, and lastly sending texts to the opposition is evidence enough.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (November 25, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

I have rarely been a fan of KP, but this innings was an absolute beauty. He is up there with Richards, the greatest batsman I have ever seen play, not for his sheer brilliance but for the way in which he dominated and intimidated. This is an excellent article because it highlights the fact that many of the reasons that many of us find KP unsympathetic as an individual actually contribute to making him such a wonderfully entertaining cricketer.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

As a Pakistani I think KP is great. Had he fired in Abu Dhabi the score could have been the other way around.

Posted by Baundele on (November 25, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Actually KP has done it any times; but still got dropped for other issues. I feel more sad for Monty. Once this series is over, he will be the first one to get dropped.

Posted by OmanBiek on (November 25, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

To even mention Sir Viv in the same passage as KP is blasphemy.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

"it is hard to think of another England batsman of recent vintage who could have played the innings Pietersen played" I feel Mike Gatting has played such innings on spinning tracks in India

Posted by njr1330 on (November 25, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Any doubts about Pietersen must now be resolved. Cook and Pujara, who are; or will be; world class players, played beautifully on a difficult pitch, yet never truly dominated. In came KP, who looked as though he was having an indoor net with the 3rd team. That, I am afraid, is genius!!

Posted by george204 on (November 25, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

"it is hard to think of another England batsman of recent vintage who could have played the innings Pietersen played." Actually I can only think of one other England batsman of ANY vintage who could have played that innings: Walter Reginald Hammond.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Awesome innings by one of the true modern greats. I am extremely pleased to see him back in the England fold, for both the benefit of England and Test cricket as a whole. Without KP, the game is not the same.

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