New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Dunedin, 5th day March 10, 2013

Right knee bothers Pietersen


Alastair Cook has revealed there is some worry over Kevin Pietersen's right knee after he was forced to spend time off the field during the first Test.

Pietersen, who made 0 and 12, did not field between lunch and tea on the third day. He returned for the final session that was shortened by rain and also fielded when New Zealand batted for a further nine overs on Saturday, although that could have been to ensure he could bat in his usual No. 4 spot if required as the injury was not an external blow.

Cook said: "There has been a bit of concern about his right knee in this Test match but he should be fit to play in Wellington."

After Pietersen was dismissed on the final afternoon he was spotted by TV cameras sat in the dressing room with a black X marking a spot on his knee. Pietersen has only been part of the Test leg of this trip having been rested for the Twenty20s and ODIs. He was dismissed by Neil Wagner in both innings at University Oval.

Should an injury rule out any of England's specialist batsmen during the series Jonny Bairstow is the reserve player in the squad.

Graeme Swann's tour ended on the opening day of the Dunedin Test when it was decided he needed surgery on his right elbow. He has returned the UK before flying to the United States for the operation. James Tredwell, the Kent offspinner, has now arrived in New Zealand to bolster the squad.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • John on March 11, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 10, 2013, 16:54 GMT) I do half agree with you in that KP can be erratic but re him needing a talking to - I'm not so sure. In the 1st inns he was the 1 batsman who got a jaffa 1st up and also I think he does take it all pretty seriously. It wasn't his choice not to play in any of the shorter format games in NZ so he could do little more. Also I think - unless he genuinely isn't taking his game seriously (practicing etc) then KP is the one player you leave alone. If he is asked to change things I feel it is more likely to have an adverse affect

  • Shanmugam on March 11, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @ Aravindan Karthikeyan, I am a big KP fan myself and I agree that Bairstow is not in his league, not yet at least. However, he did perform well in the third test against SA (yes, Steyn, Philander, and Morkel all played that game) and was easily the best Eng. batsman in that test. Is he capable of playing an innings like KP's 186 against India? Maybe not, but he is a useful batsman. As others have noted, KP has been a tad inconsistent and, no, that doesn't mean we expect a 50 from him every innings. If he is fit, he plays. But, if he is not 100%, then I think Bairstow could easily fill that void against this NZ attack, no disrespect. We need a fit and firing KP for the all important Ashes.

  • John on March 11, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @Trickstar on (March 10, 2013, 15:47 GMT) RU-Nick - is spot on. KP is erratic as he explains in his follow up post. And yes he averages just behind Trott and Cook and just ahead of Bell . Cook and Trott will tend to keep their averages around the same with steady scoring , Bell will inflate his average during purple patches and his average will come down when he is going through a poor run of form. KP's averages will fluctuate more on individual inns than any of those players. And also he is correct in that there are times when a decent contribution was required when KP went missing.

  • John on March 11, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    @Optic on (March 10, 2013, 15:20 GMT) KP gets more back slapping on these threads than any England player. Personally , I think he is much different to Bell for instance. With Bell , when he starts finding his groove he goes on a run of form and when he's out of nick in one inns it usually indicates he'll go on a bad run of form. With KP he looked absolutely horrid in the 1st Indian test and then masterful in the next and then not great for the rest of the series. I think the problem with KP is that no one knows when he's going to perform. Not sure I'd query his attitude with Eng right now. I'm sure KP would have played some of the shorter format games in NZ and the T20 series in India if it had been his choice. Having said that , if KP is nursing a knock which could be aggravated by playing then common sense would say now would be the time to give KP a rest and Jonny some more experience. BTW I personally (and a few others) have questioned Bell's place - esp after UAE/SL

  • Nicholas on March 11, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    @jmcilhinney (post on March 10, 2013, 23:51 GMT): Oh come on... you missed that one by a league! I was simply referring to Finn's habit of knocking the stumps with his right knee! Where did you get out of my post that KP was faking an injury?

  • John on March 10, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 10, 2013, 17:24 GMT), what does that mean? What, KP's faking this injury? Based on what evidence exactly?

  • John on March 10, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    @Optic on (March 10, 2013, 15:20 GMT), I'm not suggesting leaving him out if he's fit. I'm just saying that, if he's not fit then his being left out may not be a big loss if he's still in the form he was in India and Bairstow can recapture his form against SA. As far as I'm concerned, if KP is fit then he's in the side right now.

  • Mark on March 10, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    Suspect if he had scored a ton, we would have heard nothing about any knee injury. Needs something to stay in the headlines as others have overshadowed him in this match. And Bairstow dId pretty well last time Pietersen went AWOL from the test team. He has been unfortunate not to get any opportunities this winter so if he does get a chance I suspect this Attack is hardly gong o strike the fear of God into him and he may take advantage.

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    The man who couldn't even compete with Joe root and lost his place, is gonna replace KP???

    Baristow could score better than 0 and 12 in flat tracks but I bet he will never score 151 against SL in SL or 149 against the likes of Steyn, morkel or 183 against India in India...

    If you want a player to Score 50+ every match to be in the team, there wouldn't be any team playing International cricket including the much hyped "Baristow" who didn't had a clue how to play Roach's short pitch or Ashwin's or Ojha's vicious Spin...

    Let him prove his worth in the team first and then talk about him replacing KP...

  • vijay on March 10, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    ah forget it. he can tear apart any attack just on one leg, come on kp show them of the all time eng great

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