The Ashes 2010-11 October 14, 2010

Pietersen could be a 'major problem' for England - Buchanan

ESPNcricinfo staff
37

John Buchanan, the former Australia coach who has accepted a consulting role with the ECB, has said Kevin Pietersen could prove a "major problem" for England during the Ashes in Australia later in the year if he doesn't regain his form. He pointed to Pietersen's recent outburst on Twitter, following his omission from England's Twenty20 squad against Pakistan, and said it did not help the team's unity.

"He (Pietersen} is a quality player and he could be an incredible strength for them but, if he's not scoring runs, he could become a major problem for the batting line-up and the entire team. Andy Flower has been trying to work on that," Buchanan told the Wisden Cricketer.

Pietersen averaged 27.25 in four innings against Pakistan during the summer, and has gone for 26 innings without a century. He represented the Dolphins franchise in South Africa most recently, playing first-class cricket in preparation for the Ashes. That stint was preceded by an outburst on Twitter following his exclusion from England's Twenty20 side, for which he was fined and subsequently apologised.

"Pietersen hasn't done himself or the team any favours with his recent Twittering," Buchanan said. "Two of the things that will be tested in Australia are strength and unity and clearly he hasn't understood his role within the team yet."

Despite his doubts about Pietersen, Buchanan - who is expected to take up his assignment when the Ashes squad lands in Australia next month - said he was optimistic about England's chances in Australia and their potential to be the pre-eminent team in world cricket. "They seem to have a new mental toughness and they are more consistent, except for the odd glitch, which is mainly Pietersen," Buchanan said. "They need to retain this united spirit and sense of purpose. England teams in the past would often be beaten before the Test started. They didn't believe in themselves, even when they were ahead, but they are better at handling that now."

Australia were at the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of India this month, with their batting crumbling in the second innings of each Test. Buchanan believed the Ashes could possibly be decided by the performance of the respective top orders. "The top four, Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen, will be England's most important players. That is where the series will be decided. Whoever wins the battle of the top fours will win the series."

England were humiliated on their previous tour Down Under, losing all five Tests, and the role of England's bowling coach, David Saker, was a critical factor said Buchanan. "The most critical member could be the bowling coach, David Saker, with his knowledge of Australian conditions, players and balls and his ability to bring them together as a solid unit. The England bowlers are all good players, so they should be able to adapt.

"None of them has any experience of winning in Australia. Playing overseas is very different and they have yet to prove they can do it over a five-Test series in Australia. At some point doubts will start to creep into their heads and it is all about how they deal with them."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Proteas123 on October 20, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    @ Gaurav Kanaujia - A sporting wicket has something in it for everyone, unlike your indian wickets. Don't know where you come from with batsman/bowler perception, it is either sporting or it is not. KPs test record stands up very well overall to Laxman, is certainly not inferior and ODI record is considerably better. I was stating the facts and not your perception of them. If you are indian I expect you would back Laxman but that does not make him better. I would back Smith. As for the best batting line up, I agree india is very strong and probably the best at the moment but the gap is not as wide as you are making out. SA's line up holds up pretty well and are going to be a real challenge for India. Lets see how India's bating goes in SA. By the way I don't think India's bowling compares too badly with the rest. Don't think anyone has a very strong bowling line up, even SA, if it weren't for Steyn they would be average.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    @wolver get a grip , comparing a proven match winner like VVS wid KP is specious at least just yet. We'll see KP in such situations that VVS has proven himself in and then take a call after probably a decade. He is a good batsman no doubt but really it will take a lot more to reach a level of VVS. Against australia there is no comparison at all. Even within Australia, so please spare us your reading of sporting wickets.What's sporting for batsmans might not be sporting for bowlers, same goes for what seamers, pacers & spinners think of a wicket. It's really quite subjective.One needs to play in all conditions home and awy to be truly great.. Accept it both SA n Australia's batting is nowhere to the level of India. their bowling is only what brings in balance to the sides.

  • on October 18, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Buchanan is a know nothing fool always has been always will be.

  • on October 18, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    On his day KP is a world class player. However his technique is unothadox with his penchant for hitting legside (or across the line). Like Graeme Smith he is a powerful batsmen - when he gets in and WHEN he is in form. Really classy players have TECHNIQUE to fall back on when they are out of nick and this often gets then back into form. As an England fan I really hope KP can work this out and get back his magic..... but if he can't he needs to be left out of the side for everybody's sake. (Everybody supporting England that is!) Remember John Crawley and the great things expected of him? He was worked out by oppostions and his across the line/leg side hitting soon cost him his International career. Come on KP - play straighter - AKA more othadox and then expand your game when your form and confidence return... PLEASE! Come on England!

  • Proteas123 on October 18, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Pieterson is the best english batsman and one of the best in the world (He is from SA after all). Rahul Shanbhogue - Pieterson is far better than Laxman, look at the records. Not on current form though but that can change in one innings. He is also a player for the big occasion, like the ashes. Don't judge him by FC games and games against weak Pak team. Performs best against Aus and Sa, the two best teams on sporting wickets.

  • tvradke on October 18, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    I must respect Buchannan. My cat knows more about cricket than him and yet he manages to convince incredulous management teams with his load of baloney. I got to learn a thing or two from this guy about self marketing and I would gladly offer some cricket insights in return. Kevin Pietersen is easily England's most talented cricketer and if he should retire with less than 10000 runs and 30 centuries, he would have done no justice to his talent. Form is temporary and as soon as he finds it, all this drivel will be put behind us. If anyone has earned the right to be given a little leeway, KP has. I am really hopeful that KP stars in this Ashes. There is no better english batsman to watch than KP in full flight.

  • cricketphile on October 17, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    To all the people who STILL think England's fortunes revolve around KP, please look at the statistics. KP has hardly scored a run in test cricket for the last two years. It was the same with Flintoff - we won more games when he was injured than when he was playing. Yes, these are big characters who are excellent cricketers, but the England team is full of talent and has consistently shown that it doesn't rely on the contributions of KP or anyone else. I hope he starts performing because he can be devastating but I fear he's mentally gone after a few years of being treated badly by the ECB. If he doesn't perform soon I'm happy to see him dropped for a while.

  • on October 17, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    With Strauss, Cook, Trott and Morgan England look a very good side but with addition of KP. It would be the best batting line up. So why not to keep KP?

  • on October 16, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    Well i don't think without KP england can win.

  • Trickstar on October 16, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    You got to love some of these so called England fans, that seem to love nothing more than KP struggling.The fact he is Englands only world class batsman must have obviously been missed by them and they get their all bent out of shape because he's got a ego, so what, most of the top athletes around the world have egos . The fact is he was Englands cricket team until he got injured before the ashes last year, when England won KP played well,when England lost KP played well. The fact is a fit and and form KP playing well is a must if England are going to retain the Ashes. These 3 practice matches are the thing that counts for KP and the rest of the England team ,if they can hit the ground running and look in good form all the better. All KP's troubles will be forgotten by him and everyone else soon as he hits a big score in Australia.

  • Proteas123 on October 20, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    @ Gaurav Kanaujia - A sporting wicket has something in it for everyone, unlike your indian wickets. Don't know where you come from with batsman/bowler perception, it is either sporting or it is not. KPs test record stands up very well overall to Laxman, is certainly not inferior and ODI record is considerably better. I was stating the facts and not your perception of them. If you are indian I expect you would back Laxman but that does not make him better. I would back Smith. As for the best batting line up, I agree india is very strong and probably the best at the moment but the gap is not as wide as you are making out. SA's line up holds up pretty well and are going to be a real challenge for India. Lets see how India's bating goes in SA. By the way I don't think India's bowling compares too badly with the rest. Don't think anyone has a very strong bowling line up, even SA, if it weren't for Steyn they would be average.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    @wolver get a grip , comparing a proven match winner like VVS wid KP is specious at least just yet. We'll see KP in such situations that VVS has proven himself in and then take a call after probably a decade. He is a good batsman no doubt but really it will take a lot more to reach a level of VVS. Against australia there is no comparison at all. Even within Australia, so please spare us your reading of sporting wickets.What's sporting for batsmans might not be sporting for bowlers, same goes for what seamers, pacers & spinners think of a wicket. It's really quite subjective.One needs to play in all conditions home and awy to be truly great.. Accept it both SA n Australia's batting is nowhere to the level of India. their bowling is only what brings in balance to the sides.

  • on October 18, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    Buchanan is a know nothing fool always has been always will be.

  • on October 18, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    On his day KP is a world class player. However his technique is unothadox with his penchant for hitting legside (or across the line). Like Graeme Smith he is a powerful batsmen - when he gets in and WHEN he is in form. Really classy players have TECHNIQUE to fall back on when they are out of nick and this often gets then back into form. As an England fan I really hope KP can work this out and get back his magic..... but if he can't he needs to be left out of the side for everybody's sake. (Everybody supporting England that is!) Remember John Crawley and the great things expected of him? He was worked out by oppostions and his across the line/leg side hitting soon cost him his International career. Come on KP - play straighter - AKA more othadox and then expand your game when your form and confidence return... PLEASE! Come on England!

  • Proteas123 on October 18, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Pieterson is the best english batsman and one of the best in the world (He is from SA after all). Rahul Shanbhogue - Pieterson is far better than Laxman, look at the records. Not on current form though but that can change in one innings. He is also a player for the big occasion, like the ashes. Don't judge him by FC games and games against weak Pak team. Performs best against Aus and Sa, the two best teams on sporting wickets.

  • tvradke on October 18, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    I must respect Buchannan. My cat knows more about cricket than him and yet he manages to convince incredulous management teams with his load of baloney. I got to learn a thing or two from this guy about self marketing and I would gladly offer some cricket insights in return. Kevin Pietersen is easily England's most talented cricketer and if he should retire with less than 10000 runs and 30 centuries, he would have done no justice to his talent. Form is temporary and as soon as he finds it, all this drivel will be put behind us. If anyone has earned the right to be given a little leeway, KP has. I am really hopeful that KP stars in this Ashes. There is no better english batsman to watch than KP in full flight.

  • cricketphile on October 17, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    To all the people who STILL think England's fortunes revolve around KP, please look at the statistics. KP has hardly scored a run in test cricket for the last two years. It was the same with Flintoff - we won more games when he was injured than when he was playing. Yes, these are big characters who are excellent cricketers, but the England team is full of talent and has consistently shown that it doesn't rely on the contributions of KP or anyone else. I hope he starts performing because he can be devastating but I fear he's mentally gone after a few years of being treated badly by the ECB. If he doesn't perform soon I'm happy to see him dropped for a while.

  • on October 17, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    With Strauss, Cook, Trott and Morgan England look a very good side but with addition of KP. It would be the best batting line up. So why not to keep KP?

  • on October 16, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    Well i don't think without KP england can win.

  • Trickstar on October 16, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    You got to love some of these so called England fans, that seem to love nothing more than KP struggling.The fact he is Englands only world class batsman must have obviously been missed by them and they get their all bent out of shape because he's got a ego, so what, most of the top athletes around the world have egos . The fact is he was Englands cricket team until he got injured before the ashes last year, when England won KP played well,when England lost KP played well. The fact is a fit and and form KP playing well is a must if England are going to retain the Ashes. These 3 practice matches are the thing that counts for KP and the rest of the England team ,if they can hit the ground running and look in good form all the better. All KP's troubles will be forgotten by him and everyone else soon as he hits a big score in Australia.

  • on October 15, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    It's going to be a good test. It makes me smile when people start knocking someone like KP - the guy is an unbelievable talent. He averages 50 plus against the Aussies. Every player has a slump at some point, the best ones come back even stronger and when Pieterson comes back some unfortunate bowlers are going to kop for it. I guess you have to back your selectors but I'm surprised Shazad wasn't in the reckoning from the start. He reminds me of 05 ashes legend Simon Jones. Buchanan...... hmm...... hard to tell if he's ahead of the curve or out in space

  • sgh142 on October 15, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Glad to see Pietersens trip to SA going so well!!! 30 out of 500 in the first game and 2nd ball blob today..... another inept display of batsmanship.

    Exactly how far is the ground from Chelsea by the way?.....

  • ygkd on October 15, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Even with John Buchanan and without KP, England should still win the Ashes. Interesting to see how well David Saker works with the English bowlers on his home turf though. I heard him once talking about the coming series and, well, he should leave the microphone work to others.

  • on October 15, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    I think the greatest thing that has happened to a troubled Australian cricket team is the inclusion of John Buchanan into the English squad. I am sure the Engish who invented the proverb "too many cooks' have forgotten it in their desire to hold on to the Ashes. The Australian team was great despite Buchanan not because of him. The English team was united , motivated and performing. Why on earth would you get a know it all Aussie ? To spread confusion amongst its own ranks! I am sure Warne is smiling. His views on Buchanan are open and right . He did nothing for the Kolkatta knight riders and will confuse a well settled team with his half baked and new fangled theories. His interview is a case in point. Cheer up Ponting Buchanan is here!! sridhar

  • Go_F.Alonso on October 14, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    @maximum6: I completely agree with @honeyb. I think the only bowlers at the moment that KP can strike fear into are Argentinian. I'd love too see nothing more than ENG whip some Aussie ass but we need the best team playing. Unfortunately, that would mean KP sit out on the sidelines come Brisbane. We don't need him on the team just so his massive ego is satisfied. I want to see Strauss lift the trophy again.

  • on October 14, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Buchannan an ashes consultant for ECB ? really ?? why dont they just pick Ponting instead ?

  • DickeryDock on October 14, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    God save England ! Buchannan - recipe for disaster.

  • sgh142 on October 14, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Pietersen is a liability and should stay playing in SA. Disruptive, difficult and unstable along with poor cricket form and decision making mean he will give nothing to the side. He hasn't been missed, it's time to forget him and move on.

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 14, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Honeyb- Please be my guest if you want waste your time . After all it's yours. When KP limped off for his operation many people were talkiing about his class and I am not alone in my opinion. There are many really fine batsmen around of course not least in India, but what I am referring to is an innate ability to destroy an attack without batting an eyelid, to reverse the normal psychology that exeists between batsmen and bowler,to almost beg the bowler to bowl quicker and shorter. Viv was not always in nick and at times he looked arrogant and stupid, just like KP. But that arrogance and strutting demeanour were part of the package and they looked just right when Viv batted well.Class is permanent, form is temporary. However good Bell, Strauss, Collingwood are, they obey the normal rules of batsmanship. KP doesn't. Viv didn't. Look how KP does from now on, then judge him.

  • on October 14, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    Buchanan has somewhat realised that Kevin Pieterson will have a major role in the upcoming Ashes and so he's trying to get him out of the path to make things easier for his countrymen. Hmmm.....good move John. Kevin can be compared to VVS Laxman who reserves his best for the Aussies. To keep him out of the Ashes will be disastrous for the Poms. Hope ECB/selectors don't give in to his wise comments, as KP is an enigma, a treat to watch. Nothing soothes you more than watching KP dominating the Roos. Best of Luck for the Ashes, England.

  • Go_F.Alonso on October 14, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    Battle of top 4s 1. Strauss vs Watson - Leaning towards Watson 2. Cook vs Katich - Katich hands down 3. Trott vs Ponting - Ponting going by his current form 4. KP vs Clarke - call it even

    I'm leaning towards AUS but hope ENG wrestle hard. I wish Morgan has a big big series. ENG's best chance is to replace Cook with Bell and move Trott up the order.

  • Lion_of_Lanka on October 14, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Hahaha maybe buchanan is a mole to disrupt England's chances of retaining the ashes. If you are going to help England, provide some insight on the Aussie players or get out - Regards from Sri Lanka

  • bluebillion on October 14, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    The only thing ECB can do now to completely set the scene for an Aussie white wash is enlist the services of the illustrious Greg Chappel. Greg and John, not to be confused with Masterchef judges, can give a masterclass in the mental disintegration of the team that employs them.

  • Dhanno on October 14, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Haha..Warne must be giggling and predicting 5-0 for aussies ?? Didnt he once say you could get a chimp and he can come up with better strategies that buchanan ? Buchanan on the english side. classic !

  • honeyb on October 14, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Maximum6, "best batsman since Richards"????? really???? Surely that's a windup. I can start saying better players names and I won't be done till tomorrow. Good player yes, but he isn't even the best player in his team at the moment! Think before you make outlandish comments that embarass your country! :-)

  • ashwinshankar on October 14, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Hmm.. It looks like Mr. buchanan will turn out to be the "GREG CHAPPELL" for England... Australians as coach/consultants for other teams is not advisable. Now saying that Pieterson should improve himself.. He is a great player and is undergoing a rough patch..he just need one good knock..and he will be back on track..

  • ram5160 on October 14, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Why are England hiring this guy?

  • on October 14, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    what the hell is the ECB thinking???? he will never work, he will only expose England down under !

  • Truemans_Ghost on October 14, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    "Understood his role in the team"???? He's there to get runs. It is not complicated.

  • PradeepR on October 14, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Good job Buchanan. Don't you think you are doing the same thing as Pietersen?

  • on October 14, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Yes John B is one man wrecking crew for England to ruin their Ashes..

  • on October 14, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Yes John B is one man wrecking crew for England to ruin their Ashes..

  • thestunner316_15 on October 14, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    STUPID buchanan will wreck englands chances... mark my words

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 14, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    Perhaps we could pass John Buchanan on to Bangladesh or Argentina who might have a use for an old disused coach and use it for a chicken house. Why on earth should the best batsman since richards be a problem to anyone apart from the bowlers? I think using twitter is merely a symptom of feeling too alone.Use ther phone, Kp,it's safer.

  • sathishbabu4u on October 14, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    Pieterson waste player.. better can search for any young new talented player , than again giving chance to pieter

  • on October 14, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    hehe.. it's astonishing that Buchanan's ability to total destruct the mindset of the star players and hence influence the entire team to under-perform has been forgotten so soon..

    At the high point that the ECB is in right now, they need to only see at KKR's under-performance and learn how bad an influence Buchanan has on team bonding..

    Buchanan should be the last person to be consulted by any team on the ascend.. after many decades we cricket lovers are expecting an exciting Ashes series in Australia, but it seems we are in for a spoiler given the ECB's decision of having the services of Buchanan on-board their support staff..

    herez wishing the ECB all the very best for their Ashes..

  • SettingSun on October 14, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Ahh, Buchanan. You can see why he is so 'loved' in Australia. He's been in this consultancy role 5 minutes and already he's railing against someone he is supposed to be working with. What were the ECB thinking?! You Aussies have done wonders in landing us with this bloke, good on yer!

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  • SettingSun on October 14, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Ahh, Buchanan. You can see why he is so 'loved' in Australia. He's been in this consultancy role 5 minutes and already he's railing against someone he is supposed to be working with. What were the ECB thinking?! You Aussies have done wonders in landing us with this bloke, good on yer!

  • on October 14, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    hehe.. it's astonishing that Buchanan's ability to total destruct the mindset of the star players and hence influence the entire team to under-perform has been forgotten so soon..

    At the high point that the ECB is in right now, they need to only see at KKR's under-performance and learn how bad an influence Buchanan has on team bonding..

    Buchanan should be the last person to be consulted by any team on the ascend.. after many decades we cricket lovers are expecting an exciting Ashes series in Australia, but it seems we are in for a spoiler given the ECB's decision of having the services of Buchanan on-board their support staff..

    herez wishing the ECB all the very best for their Ashes..

  • sathishbabu4u on October 14, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    Pieterson waste player.. better can search for any young new talented player , than again giving chance to pieter

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 14, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    Perhaps we could pass John Buchanan on to Bangladesh or Argentina who might have a use for an old disused coach and use it for a chicken house. Why on earth should the best batsman since richards be a problem to anyone apart from the bowlers? I think using twitter is merely a symptom of feeling too alone.Use ther phone, Kp,it's safer.

  • thestunner316_15 on October 14, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    STUPID buchanan will wreck englands chances... mark my words

  • on October 14, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Yes John B is one man wrecking crew for England to ruin their Ashes..

  • on October 14, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Yes John B is one man wrecking crew for England to ruin their Ashes..

  • PradeepR on October 14, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Good job Buchanan. Don't you think you are doing the same thing as Pietersen?

  • Truemans_Ghost on October 14, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    "Understood his role in the team"???? He's there to get runs. It is not complicated.

  • on October 14, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    what the hell is the ECB thinking???? he will never work, he will only expose England down under !