It was announced on Wednesday that Kevin Pietersen has had an operation on his troublesome Achilles heel and will miss the remaining three Ashes test matches.
While this news is a disappointment to England team, management and fans as a whole it cannot come as any real surprise. It has been obvious to anyone watching that it has been a problem to his batting and his fielding in the first two tests. It is surely for the better in the long run – for both Pietersen and England – that he has it now rather than playing on and making it worse.
How amazing it was on Wednesday to hear all those pundits and fans coming out and saying what a disaster this is for England, could this be all the same people that have been slagging him off over the last year, saying about how he always chucks it away and is not serious about playing for England, etc.
Yes, England will miss him, and yes, he is a selfish batsman who occasionally throws his wicket away at crucial moments of games – but is it his fault that the rest of the batsmen had again failed and we were again relying on him to do most of the batting for us, we can’t keep punishing him for the rest of the teams shortcomings.
This might well have a positive effect on the English batting with players having to show more responsibility to get by without him. It’s about time the batsmen collectively stood up and carried the burden of the batting. To be fair, so far in this series others have contributed, but all to often in the past it has been Pietersen who has had to carry them.
It will probably be Ian Bell who gets the nod to come in, it could result in Ravi Bopara dropping down the order a place and solving that problem as well. Please don’t move Paul Collingwood up the order to number 3 as I heard suggested on the radio on Wednesday.
Although up until recently he wasn’t having a great season, Rob Key must surely come into the selectors thoughts. As an experienced player and a good leader of men the time might well be right to bring him back into the fold, England need players who won’t take a step back from Aussie bullying and Key fits that description. With Bell the Aussies have already got to him mentally in the past with the ‘Sherminator’ tag and they won’t fear him at all.
3rd Test Betting
The Draw is 11/8 with VC Bet
Australia are 2/1 with VC Bet
England are 7/2 with Totesport, Sportingbet and Bet365