August 13, 2012

'A distraction we could well do without'

ESPNcricinfo staff
Current and former players react to the situation that has led to the omission of Kevin Pietersen for England's third Test against South Africa
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"Frankly, as players, all this has been a distraction we could well do without as we approach a massively important final match at Lord's, one we must win to retain our hard-earned status as the No 1 ranked side in world cricket ... Kevin talked about having issues within the dressing room. What's frustrating is that this was, literally, the first we knew about it. Kevin has mentioned nothing to us."
James Anderson with the view from the dressing room before the squad announcement

"Over the last week, Kevin has acted like a child who does not know what he wants and, as any teacher will tell you, you only need one unruly kid in the class and the whole structure of the classroom can come crashing down."
Nasser Hussain thinks Pietersen isn't acting his age

"How can Kevin say it's not about the money when the IPL will pay him £1.3  million for six weeks' work plus commercial advertising which in India will dwarf his England money … This episode is all about money."
Geoff Boycott questions Pietersen's motives

"The message to Pietersen is clear: he has to be a team man, fully committed and nothing less."
Jonathan Agnew, BBC cricket correspondent and former England bowler, believes Pietersen must be the one to compromise

"What I'm hearing is that England players are now sick and tired of hearing about Kevin Pietersen in what is one of the biggest series England play."
Former England fast bowler Dominic Cork on the continuing distraction

"Kev speaks his mind a bit and you'd like that to be refreshing but it often falls the wrong way for him."
Geraint Jones, former England wicketkeeper, on Pietersen's capacity for getting into trouble

"IMO leaving KP out this week is the right decision.. Clearly 2 many issues that can't be resolved in a few days but will be in time.."
Michael Vaughan tweets his opinion on the axeing

"Much depends how Pietersen reacts to this. If he takes his punishment and keeps quiet, then there is a chance he will come back. If he reacts badly to this and he has a history of falling out with people then there may be a permanent falling out and breakdown in relationships."
Michael Atherton on what may happen next

"Put simply - cricket lovers around the world will miss watching KP's serious talent and skill on the international stage.. Also... If KP didn't play second test v SA the score line would read SA 2 ENG 0.. SA ranked number 1 test team in the world, need I say more.."
Friend and former team-mate Shane Warne tweets his verdict

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    @drlimpel: Good example of our Pakistan there. Though ironically team Misbah is more united than England is looking nowadays. Even Afridi can't pick a fight with him. Seemingly no one can. I think people should just believe what the great Imran Khan said. Cricket isn't about coaches (or directors in this case). Cricket is all about the captain, who's the manager, XI selector, mentor, strategist, EVERYTHING. All Flower's powers should be with Strauss. Flower comes across as a tyrant somehow...And even if he isn't, he should never have been allpowerful.

  • POSTED BY loudmouth on | August 15, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    I can't BELIEVE they've dropped KP for the 3rd Test. KP is just one more player in a long line of controversial match winners - Warne / Flintoff / Botham / Symonds / Afridi. Sure he's a big kid who is totally self absorbed but what an entertainer! He's the Usain Bolt of the English cricket team!!! The ECB clearly have no idea of how to give KP the freedom he wants to express himself. Let him go play IPL during the next NZ series. Let him text his SA mates. Who cares? He won the T20 World Cup for England / he saved the 2005 Ashes. He saved the Headingley Test match. Shane Warne did similarly immature things for Australia and still won games for his country. Flintoff used to warm up with a couple of pints on the balcony @ Lords. If the ECB want to kill off public interest in Test cricket then they're going about it the right way.

  • POSTED BY CrickFan82 on | August 15, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    well, as i said earlier, England would have lost the ODI series to West Indies if not for Bell. They were quite close. Without Pieterson good luck to them, :). As an Indian fan i would be happy not see KP in England side when they come over to India, cos all these years i have seen him do well in Indian conditions better than his team mates. Every other team must have nerds like KP. My verdict is that POMS will drop from a better side to a good side without KP. and am also thinking KP might think of migrating to OZ try to play for them,:) i say thats not impossible.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 14, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh on (August 14 2012, 05:31 AM GMT) Yeah , cos your boys showed exactly what we've got coming to us in the ODI series recently. I've actually stuck up for Australia in alot of posts but folk like you make me wonder why I bothered

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 14, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    @Daniel Powell on (August 13 2012, 13:50 PM GMT) Come on , be fair here. If KP hadn't made all those runs Eng could have been trailing by 150-200 runs after the 1st inns and we've seen how are batsmen have coped when under pressure. If they couldn't cope in the 1st test then why are you so sure it would have been different this time. Also KP even gave England a shout of winning the way he pushed the game forward. Maybe Prior could also do that but no other Eng batsman.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | August 14, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Alot of Aus fans counting chickens before they have hatched, bold predictions, band wagon jumping and fortunes of Eng sudden demise on the world stage. SA are a very good side (as is PAK on their day). I predict that Eng are no.1 in nearly all formats of the game, Ashes holders and proud 'stuffers' of our next 2 opponents (with this team...dont mention 57 years ago). Wait a minute this is FACT. LOL. Eng to win at lords and these boards to be empty, now that is a better prediction.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | August 14, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @DocBindra- the media may write headlines like that but most English fans will agree that we have come up way short of a good SA side. The difference between India and England is that English fans will acknowledge good cricket of the opposition and appreciate what we are seeing. Shane Warne and Brian Lara are two models constantly propped up by English coaches and we have great admiration for them. Indian fans tend to become very bitter and resentful when they lose and make weak comments like "wait till we play you at home". Granted England will most probably lose the no 1 status and deservedly so. There is no excuses just simply that SA played top cricket at the Oval and gave us nothing. Well played SA.

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    He causes distractions, & yet is the only English batsman to score a century in the previous test. And picks up wickets with his off spinners. Tells you the mental capacity of the other English players. Dropping him for the final test was not the solution. Their first priority should have been to win the final test at all cost & then deal with the Peterson issue. Dropping him now does nobody any good. Suddenly the English batting looks jittery & too thin.

  • POSTED BY DocBindra on | August 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Typical stiff upper lip mentality...I'm sorry isn't KP the same guy who single-handedly just save England from losing the series in the second test when 50 or so from Prior was the only score of significance? Wow, talk about ingrates. If ECB, Flower and Strauss think that KP is such a problem child, don't include him in the future tour to India or it will smell of hypocrisy. I can see the headlines after the SA series that England lost the series due to KP and his distractions. Please.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | August 14, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    It's very easy to separate these reactions to the sound bites above. Those that don't care about English cricket want KP to be forgiven for his crass behaviour & allowed to play on, regardless of the tensions & lack of cohesion in the England dressing room that he causes (in fact these problems delight pro KP-ites, because the thoughts of mayhem in the England dressing room makes them happy, true Schadenfreude). Then there are the England supporters (note: I do not say 'English') who understand the inestimable value of a united team & realise that KP is destructive of that unity - as he has been in every club he has joined: Natal, Notts, Hants, & now England (for the second time). Last time he dragged down Peter Moores with him, let us hope that Andy Flower does not get similarly mired in yet another of KP's mega-tantrums. As it is, he must have thought: do I want more of this? I'm meant to to managing the England cricket team, but one player takes up 90% of my time, energy & patience.

  • POSTED BY on | August 15, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    @drlimpel: Good example of our Pakistan there. Though ironically team Misbah is more united than England is looking nowadays. Even Afridi can't pick a fight with him. Seemingly no one can. I think people should just believe what the great Imran Khan said. Cricket isn't about coaches (or directors in this case). Cricket is all about the captain, who's the manager, XI selector, mentor, strategist, EVERYTHING. All Flower's powers should be with Strauss. Flower comes across as a tyrant somehow...And even if he isn't, he should never have been allpowerful.

  • POSTED BY loudmouth on | August 15, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    I can't BELIEVE they've dropped KP for the 3rd Test. KP is just one more player in a long line of controversial match winners - Warne / Flintoff / Botham / Symonds / Afridi. Sure he's a big kid who is totally self absorbed but what an entertainer! He's the Usain Bolt of the English cricket team!!! The ECB clearly have no idea of how to give KP the freedom he wants to express himself. Let him go play IPL during the next NZ series. Let him text his SA mates. Who cares? He won the T20 World Cup for England / he saved the 2005 Ashes. He saved the Headingley Test match. Shane Warne did similarly immature things for Australia and still won games for his country. Flintoff used to warm up with a couple of pints on the balcony @ Lords. If the ECB want to kill off public interest in Test cricket then they're going about it the right way.

  • POSTED BY CrickFan82 on | August 15, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    well, as i said earlier, England would have lost the ODI series to West Indies if not for Bell. They were quite close. Without Pieterson good luck to them, :). As an Indian fan i would be happy not see KP in England side when they come over to India, cos all these years i have seen him do well in Indian conditions better than his team mates. Every other team must have nerds like KP. My verdict is that POMS will drop from a better side to a good side without KP. and am also thinking KP might think of migrating to OZ try to play for them,:) i say thats not impossible.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 14, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh on (August 14 2012, 05:31 AM GMT) Yeah , cos your boys showed exactly what we've got coming to us in the ODI series recently. I've actually stuck up for Australia in alot of posts but folk like you make me wonder why I bothered

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 14, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    @Daniel Powell on (August 13 2012, 13:50 PM GMT) Come on , be fair here. If KP hadn't made all those runs Eng could have been trailing by 150-200 runs after the 1st inns and we've seen how are batsmen have coped when under pressure. If they couldn't cope in the 1st test then why are you so sure it would have been different this time. Also KP even gave England a shout of winning the way he pushed the game forward. Maybe Prior could also do that but no other Eng batsman.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | August 14, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Alot of Aus fans counting chickens before they have hatched, bold predictions, band wagon jumping and fortunes of Eng sudden demise on the world stage. SA are a very good side (as is PAK on their day). I predict that Eng are no.1 in nearly all formats of the game, Ashes holders and proud 'stuffers' of our next 2 opponents (with this team...dont mention 57 years ago). Wait a minute this is FACT. LOL. Eng to win at lords and these boards to be empty, now that is a better prediction.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | August 14, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @DocBindra- the media may write headlines like that but most English fans will agree that we have come up way short of a good SA side. The difference between India and England is that English fans will acknowledge good cricket of the opposition and appreciate what we are seeing. Shane Warne and Brian Lara are two models constantly propped up by English coaches and we have great admiration for them. Indian fans tend to become very bitter and resentful when they lose and make weak comments like "wait till we play you at home". Granted England will most probably lose the no 1 status and deservedly so. There is no excuses just simply that SA played top cricket at the Oval and gave us nothing. Well played SA.

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    He causes distractions, & yet is the only English batsman to score a century in the previous test. And picks up wickets with his off spinners. Tells you the mental capacity of the other English players. Dropping him for the final test was not the solution. Their first priority should have been to win the final test at all cost & then deal with the Peterson issue. Dropping him now does nobody any good. Suddenly the English batting looks jittery & too thin.

  • POSTED BY DocBindra on | August 14, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Typical stiff upper lip mentality...I'm sorry isn't KP the same guy who single-handedly just save England from losing the series in the second test when 50 or so from Prior was the only score of significance? Wow, talk about ingrates. If ECB, Flower and Strauss think that KP is such a problem child, don't include him in the future tour to India or it will smell of hypocrisy. I can see the headlines after the SA series that England lost the series due to KP and his distractions. Please.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | August 14, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    It's very easy to separate these reactions to the sound bites above. Those that don't care about English cricket want KP to be forgiven for his crass behaviour & allowed to play on, regardless of the tensions & lack of cohesion in the England dressing room that he causes (in fact these problems delight pro KP-ites, because the thoughts of mayhem in the England dressing room makes them happy, true Schadenfreude). Then there are the England supporters (note: I do not say 'English') who understand the inestimable value of a united team & realise that KP is destructive of that unity - as he has been in every club he has joined: Natal, Notts, Hants, & now England (for the second time). Last time he dragged down Peter Moores with him, let us hope that Andy Flower does not get similarly mired in yet another of KP's mega-tantrums. As it is, he must have thought: do I want more of this? I'm meant to to managing the England cricket team, but one player takes up 90% of my time, energy & patience.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | August 14, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    England do have 3 to 4 truddlers in their line up.. But when it comes to dictate terms, we should look up to the last match's batting order to chase 250+ in 40 overs.. First you bank entirely on KP and when he is out, stabilise a bit and send in Prior.. Once Prior is gone, shut the shop.. That is the case.. Those two are the only two guys who can disturb the bowling to take them off from their plans.. All others just wait for bad balls.. It is not a bad strategy but still, won't work all the times.. The whole world knows KP is a ego and England picks him and his teammates play with him using twitter and now, KP is the bad guy.. Again.. Swann writes book, Anderson comments in his columns on KP and everyone goes clean chit but KP gets dropped for "What is the content?" texts.. God save ECB!

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | August 14, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Shane Warne. U legend! Straight to the point! No fuss. No beating about the bush. England - KP = Disaster.

  • POSTED BY on | August 14, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    lot of drama between ECB & KP kevin pietersen want to retirement odis and twenty20s. now he talking about i m available for all cricket format. What's Going On Here? KP big drama between South Africa test series. South Africa have big bowling & batting attack England can't face SA..

  • POSTED BY thebrotherswaugh on | August 14, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Pucker up all you Pommy fans. Without KP in the side, the 3rd test is done & dusted; 2-0 SA and back to #3 ranking for ENG. Yeah, I can hear the indignant rhetoric already, but face it, IND will take you to the cleaners, and come the next Ashes, the resurgent AUS will go close to another whitewashing of a much over-rated Pommy side. Remember, no Punter as captain goes a long way - it was the most important factor in the last two losses - and no Lee or MJ means no easy runs at a ridiculous rate. Get used to it - looks like the dynasty you created was one of weakness and fragility - and your fickle press (and fans) will be baying for blood. That pedestrian pace attack looks pretty ordinary as well, Anderson the only decent one (but still over-rated) amongst them. A grim future ahead for ENG, the ECB, and the Barmy Army!! May you rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY drlimpel on | August 14, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Jimmy Anderson's reaction is interesting. It appears that atleast now other teams will realize what the Pakistani team faces on a daily basis. And how big of an achievement it is when they finally win a bloody game, inspite of themselves.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | August 14, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Warney the only one on the money. One of the greatest of all time I would listen to him England. Strauss is a 3rd grade player and is an embarrassment to batsmen worldwide.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 14, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (August 13 2012, 19:36 PM GMT), actually, Warne's comment is just plain stupid. Shall we say that SA would have lost the second Test if Alviro Petersen hadn't played? Given that Warne himself was a great player on the field and total knob off it, it's no wonder that he would support Pietersen's position.

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | August 14, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    In any team environment, if you isolate an exceptional (albeit egoistic) player, he is going to behave like a child to use Nasser Hussain's words. I wish the English dressing room looked more inclusive, rather than the sycophantic clique that it appears to be. The difference between the current England side and Australian cricket in 1999 is that the former can't harness a KP but an Australia managed to tap into Warne's multi-faceted personality just so that he could keep doing what he did best: take wickets. (It can't just be a coincidence that both got into trouble because of their text messages!)

  • POSTED BY boom1000 on | August 14, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Nasser Hussain is being too soft on KP. KP is smart and now trying to gain sympathy from his supporters and to prove that ECB is the culprit. KP cannot be trusted; once his demands are fulfilled he will ditch the ECB. He was trying to neglect the country that gave him shelter and wanted to give his full time to the IPL but not for his country. Well said Geoff Boycott KP is only interested in financial gains.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | August 14, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    As a pure cricketer no one is doubting his talents. As far as figures go etc. But what effect has KP on the dressing room? Boucher never had great batting stats but he brought so much more to the table. KP seems to upset a team ethic Andy's are trying to instill. Love to have him play for us but only under our conditions. PS, we have plenty of match winners people, and although a loss on paper lets see how Eng react.

  • POSTED BY allblue on | August 14, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    Presumably most people have worked out that when Warne talks about English cricket he actually thinks the opposite of what he says - it happens every time, he can't help himself. I heard the Vaughan/Tufnell radio show earlier and they talked a lot of sense. KP (no doubt acting on bad advice) has effectively sabotaged the team that made his fortune and yet his spinmeisters are portraying him as the innocent party. Andrew Strauss, the man who pulled England out of the mire following KP's captaincy debacle to a period of unprecedented success, a man who is liked and respected throughout the game is about to play his 100th Test yet the press is dominated by by the ludicrous primadonna spectacle of a man who seems to have totally swallowed his own hype and lost touch with reality. As an England supporter for over forty years I'm sick of it. No respect, no self-respect, KP has burned his bridges as far as I am concerned.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | August 14, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    OK I think most of us agree that KP's mouth get's him into trouble? But it's KP's bat that often gets England OUT of trouble and certainly he can set up match winning positions? I wonder whether IF the gamble had paid off on Monday and KP scored a quickfire 180 odd and England had won the 2nd test. would all have been forgotten? Give the guy a break ECB - he is a special talent and needs special handling. Maybe cash fines would have been the way to go - although I personally don't think he's done much wrong in expressing (via text) his opinion. The way this has worked out the England supporters and team are the ones being punished and basically it's a 'lose/lose' situation. Unless you are part of Smiths team that is....... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY cricketfannik on | August 14, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    KP is needed in t20 ODI and Test matches as well. But KP is wrong as well in doing these things as well so as poor management by ECB. KP said he wants time with family then said wanted to play full IPL.Why does player dont understand mostly overseas that you wil retire @ max 38 or 37 then you still have 3-4 years of IPL. IPL is going no where just first atleast give your country time who made u to this level. Then play IPL. Hayed and Gili and even Warnie played atleast 4 yrs of IPL after Retiring. IDK why they run for money and show their Desperation so much. if ganguly can play till now after failing so much then KP is class act.he still can play full IPL for atleast 5 years after retirement plus then be mentor or coach or watever.still earning money look @ Stephen Fleming doing nothing for NZ cricket which is almost dying series by series but making heaps in IPL.(shame)anyways KP should play ipl in watever time he is given not like running and losing respect in dressing room & public

  • POSTED BY kallis57 on | August 13, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Will people stop saying that KP is inconsistent and only scores runs when other people have? It is just utter nonsense. His first test he top scored both innings. His first hundred 158 from 300 in the ashes winning knock in 2005. He averaged 50 when we got stuffed in Ashes in Australia. He scored a sublime double hundred at Lords vs India last year and his 2 extraordinary innings this year vs Sri Lanka 151 to win Colombo Test and 149 at Headingly were almost lone hands against opposition that were dominating. He averages 50 in tests, who was the last England batsman to retire with an average that high? Ken Barrington in 1968 - so just stop the inconsistent nonsense. I will take his brand of inconsistency any day.

  • POSTED BY MattLavender on | August 13, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    I cannot believe how much criticism Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower are getting. People are calling for them to be sacked; have people forgotten how much they've done for this team..? They were the ones who cleared up the mess after Pietersen's terrible attempt at leading the side and took England to the top of world cricket. It is the two Andys that have taken England to the top - not the unreliable, inconsistent Pietersen. Can't believe that the Andys are getting so much criticism. This whole fiasco is Pietersen's fault; England would be better if he took his huge ego out of the dressing room and went off to India to earn his money...that is clearly what motivates him above all else.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | August 13, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    Only the Aussie in Shane Warne has got it right hahahaha. Sure, England look poor than what I expected from them and that too in home conditions. But the Lords' test will be hard fought because England are still a very decent test match team. KP in my opinion was the ONLY match winner in the English team. With him gone, I cannot see any other batsman matching that intensity level against the SA bowlers. On the flip side, his absence could also motivate somebody like a James Taylor to step up and get recognized as the next big thing for England. So there are negatives and positives depending on the way you wanna look at it. I do strongly feel that SA are well on their way to becoming # 1 following next week.

  • POSTED BY Siddharth194 on | August 13, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    Andrew Strauss is a back-stabbing clown and he has no control over his team.He should be thrown out and Ali Cook should be given the captaincy.

  • POSTED BY crindo77 on | August 13, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    What a dog's dinner; ECB may wave the 'team' flag but to anybody who manages professional sports this is a real mess. Since Botham no one player has made as big a difference for England as KP. No solo matchwinners -so a regimented approach worked. Andy Flower with his stress on a 'team performance' theme along with his exalted Team Director designation, and KP's increasing isolation, during warm ups, press meets made this stand off just a matter of time. Well, sometimes you do get champions; and if they are emotional as KP, cracking the whip may not be the way to go. You need finesse , esp if your No 1 ranking is at stake. The issues may be complex, but the ECB have complicated it for themselves with amateur man management. Trial through media is always bad. The issues of KP's 'Englishness' haven't helped. If KP had made a statement like Strauss did about the effect of British Olympic success to the Test series, he would not have got away easy, I'm sure. I still remember the pudding.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Still cannot believe that we have dropped our best spinner

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    I think Shane will be proven right at Lords.. I really cannot see ENG beating SA without Pietersen.. Whoever they bring in will definitely reduce the strength of the team.

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | August 13, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Agree with Shane Warne. The Andys should be fired instead.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    Geoff Boycott has no business commenting on player ethics. He was one of the most unruly players to play cricket for England. In a notoriously famous test in Eden Gardens against India, Mr Boycott got himself out early, then left to play golf with his buddies for the rest of the test match. He did not show up to field for his team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    So Anderson can speak what he wants is it???

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    If England can only win with KP in the side, I'd rather see them lose. The man's self-indulgence makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. Texting your mates to complain about the employer who has made you a very rich man doing what you love doing might seem innocuous enough to some. However, the first lesson is that those best mates obviously aren't such good mates, and secondly anyone else texting mates in the main opposition camp with internal confidences, would be sacked. Last test aside, KP rarely scores runs unless someone else has already done so in the innings. There is nothing more destructive to moral than someone who demands (and even worse, gets) preferential treatment over his work mates. KP is a spoiled brat, and England just reached the point of realisation that he is occasionally helpful to their cause, but always harmful. Surrey probably don't want this prima donna sulking in their change room either.

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | August 13, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    I feel sympathy for KP. But the specifics of this issue aside: if England's continuing as no. 1 depends entirely on one player being in the line-up (and I think it does), then they don't deserve to be no. 1. SA has many fine players, and Amla and Kallis at least compare with KP in greatness and match-winning ability; but if either of them was to miss a Test match, SA would still be favorites to win because they have so many other match-winners. Like India, England was a very good team as it fought its way to the top; and like India, it has become a mediocre team after getting there. As an India supporter myself, I can't wait for SA to become no. 1 with a win at Lord's, because they richly deserve it. Then it will be interesting to see how they handle their stay at the summit - whether it will be a false dawn as it was for Ind and Eng, or whether they have the capacity for lasting greatness, like Australia.

  • POSTED BY roliveruk on | August 13, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Warney - saying England would have lost the 2nd test without KP is the same as saying SA would have lost without 'their' Peterson? Where is the logic?

    There are 2 outstanding teams in the world at the moment - SA and England.

    SA have played the better cricket up till now and therefore deserve to be in their current position.

    Followers of other nations can only look on in admiration at the standard of batting, fielding and bowling (with a distinct lack of 'chucking') in this series.

    You need to stop making foolish comments, sort out your own grassroots cricket and generally realise that we no longer treat the commonwealth as colonial rulers who think we are better than you.

    World sporting rankings show we are better than you...

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | August 13, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    AGREE WITH SHANE WARNE . KP IS THE X FACTOR OF ENGLAND . IN THE LAST TEST IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE OF KP 'S ALL ROUND PERFORMANCES ENGLAND MADE SA TO FIGHT .REST OF ENGLISH PLAYERS(EXCEPT BROAD & TO SOME EXTENT PRIOR)WERE ORDINARY IN THEIR PERFORMANCES .

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Warne seriously thinks England would have lost the second game without Pietersen? Nonsense. If they'd replaced him with a stick of celery England would have still drawn it. After the (brief) charge, England settled in and blocked every delivery without breaking a sweat. They could have blocked 2 days worth of South Africa's tepid bowling in that match.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Clearly Warne is the only one of the above not to be either previously part of the Team England hierarcy, or a journo addicted to informal briefings from the ECB. It comes to something when it takes an Aussie to provide perspective on the machinations of English cricket's supposedly happy family. Waiting to learn what JA's punishment for publicly posting derogartory comments about a team mate during an important series will be.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    He got you a hundred in the last Test and there could be a chance, he will give you another. Dump him after the last test, if you must - after you have retained your No. 1 status.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I thought Jimmy Anderson's comments were published before KP's omission was announced, not as a reaction to it.

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  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I thought Jimmy Anderson's comments were published before KP's omission was announced, not as a reaction to it.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    He got you a hundred in the last Test and there could be a chance, he will give you another. Dump him after the last test, if you must - after you have retained your No. 1 status.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Clearly Warne is the only one of the above not to be either previously part of the Team England hierarcy, or a journo addicted to informal briefings from the ECB. It comes to something when it takes an Aussie to provide perspective on the machinations of English cricket's supposedly happy family. Waiting to learn what JA's punishment for publicly posting derogartory comments about a team mate during an important series will be.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Warne seriously thinks England would have lost the second game without Pietersen? Nonsense. If they'd replaced him with a stick of celery England would have still drawn it. After the (brief) charge, England settled in and blocked every delivery without breaking a sweat. They could have blocked 2 days worth of South Africa's tepid bowling in that match.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | August 13, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    AGREE WITH SHANE WARNE . KP IS THE X FACTOR OF ENGLAND . IN THE LAST TEST IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE OF KP 'S ALL ROUND PERFORMANCES ENGLAND MADE SA TO FIGHT .REST OF ENGLISH PLAYERS(EXCEPT BROAD & TO SOME EXTENT PRIOR)WERE ORDINARY IN THEIR PERFORMANCES .

  • POSTED BY roliveruk on | August 13, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Warney - saying England would have lost the 2nd test without KP is the same as saying SA would have lost without 'their' Peterson? Where is the logic?

    There are 2 outstanding teams in the world at the moment - SA and England.

    SA have played the better cricket up till now and therefore deserve to be in their current position.

    Followers of other nations can only look on in admiration at the standard of batting, fielding and bowling (with a distinct lack of 'chucking') in this series.

    You need to stop making foolish comments, sort out your own grassroots cricket and generally realise that we no longer treat the commonwealth as colonial rulers who think we are better than you.

    World sporting rankings show we are better than you...

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | August 13, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    I feel sympathy for KP. But the specifics of this issue aside: if England's continuing as no. 1 depends entirely on one player being in the line-up (and I think it does), then they don't deserve to be no. 1. SA has many fine players, and Amla and Kallis at least compare with KP in greatness and match-winning ability; but if either of them was to miss a Test match, SA would still be favorites to win because they have so many other match-winners. Like India, England was a very good team as it fought its way to the top; and like India, it has become a mediocre team after getting there. As an India supporter myself, I can't wait for SA to become no. 1 with a win at Lord's, because they richly deserve it. Then it will be interesting to see how they handle their stay at the summit - whether it will be a false dawn as it was for Ind and Eng, or whether they have the capacity for lasting greatness, like Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    If England can only win with KP in the side, I'd rather see them lose. The man's self-indulgence makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. Texting your mates to complain about the employer who has made you a very rich man doing what you love doing might seem innocuous enough to some. However, the first lesson is that those best mates obviously aren't such good mates, and secondly anyone else texting mates in the main opposition camp with internal confidences, would be sacked. Last test aside, KP rarely scores runs unless someone else has already done so in the innings. There is nothing more destructive to moral than someone who demands (and even worse, gets) preferential treatment over his work mates. KP is a spoiled brat, and England just reached the point of realisation that he is occasionally helpful to their cause, but always harmful. Surrey probably don't want this prima donna sulking in their change room either.

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    So Anderson can speak what he wants is it???

  • POSTED BY on | August 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    Geoff Boycott has no business commenting on player ethics. He was one of the most unruly players to play cricket for England. In a notoriously famous test in Eden Gardens against India, Mr Boycott got himself out early, then left to play golf with his buddies for the rest of the test match. He did not show up to field for his team.